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FutureStarrGreat blue lobelia
When our grandmother was sick with Alzheimer's, we looked up helpful plants and herbs to help her while she was fading away. As we wrote to her from around the world, Mom told us about this blue lobelia that came into the garden every year and seemed to do so much more than just grow bigger. What did it do? what we really wanted to know is what would happen when she dug it up and put it in her garden—would it have any effect?This showy perennial is usually unbranched but may exhibit some branching. The erect, 2-3 ft., stems produce lavender-blue, tubular flowers crowded together on the upper stem. Showy, bright blue flowers are in the axils of leafy bracts and form an elongated cluster on a leafy stem. Each flower is split into two lips - the upper lip has two segments and the lower lip has three.
Great Blue Lobelia forms a flower spike covered in deep blue flowers from late summer to early fall. It can form colonies when happily sited in medium to wet soils in light shade, but is not overly aggressive. Combine Blue Lobelia with Cardinal Flower for a stunning color combo that will bring in the hummingbirds. Excellent for damLobelia siphilitica offers a deep-hued counterpoint to the yellows of late summer. This colony-forming, short-lived perennial grows well in medium to wet soils, especially with a little shade. In its native range, Great Blue Lobelia can be found in wet prairies, soggy meadows, pond and creek edges, marshland borders, and other moist areas. Great blue lobelia, is a member of the Campanulaceae (Bellflower) family. The family includes around 2,400 mostly herbaceous species, most of which occur in North America, Europe and Asia.
This lobelia generally produces a single upright stem 5 to 15 decimeters (20 to 59 inches) or more tall. The stem is smooth or scarcely hairy. The alternate, toothed leaves are narrowly oval shaped. Leaves are 8 to 12 centimeters (3 to 4.75 inches) long by 1.5 to 4 centimeters (0.6 to 1.6 inches) wide. Flowers are arranged in an elongated cluster (raceme) 10 to 30 centimeters (4 to 12 inches) long at the end of the stem. Flowers are blue-violet or sometimes white, and about 2.5 centimeters (1 inches) long. The backsides of the flowers have short hairs.Great lobelia is a clump-forming perennial which features an elongated cluster of light to dark blue, tubular, 2-lipped flowers with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than the two lobes of the upper lip. The flowers arise from the upper leaf axils forming a dense terminal raceme atop stiff, unbranched, leafy stalks typically rising 2-3' tall. Its flowers are larger than other lobelias and have stripes on the tube portion. Blooms from July to October. (Source: plants.ces.ncsu.edu)