|Lobelia subsp. var.|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Lobelia (Matthias de Lobel, or L'Obel, 1538-1616, a Flemish botanist and author; Latinized Lobelius). Including Tupa. Campanulaceae. Excellent flower-garden and border plants, annual and perennial.
Mostly herbs, some tropical species somewhat woody: lvs. alternate, sometimes the cauline ones reduced to bracts: fls. blue, red or yellowish, on 1-fld. pedicels, which are arranged in a terminal raceme; corolla gamo- petalous and tubular, split down one side; lobes 5, the 3 on the lower side (as the fl. stands) somewhat united and forming a lip, the other 2 (1 on either side of the cleft or split) erect or turned back; calyx short-tubular or globular, joined to the ovary, short-toothed; stamens 5, united into a tube around the single style, the tube often protruding from the cleft into the corolla: fr. a 2-valved caps.—-Species 250 or more, in many parts of the world, well represented in E. U. S.
There are two horticultural groups of lobelias,—the annuals and the perennials. The annuals are low normally blue-flowered species suitable for bedding and edgings. They are of the easiest culture either from seeds or cuttings. See L. Erinus (No. 1). The perennials are again of two types,—the hardy and the half- hardy or tender. The hardy kinds are natives, of which L. cardinalis and L. syphilitica are the leading representatives. These inhabit bogs and low places, and the best results under cultivation are to be expected in moist and cool spots. The half-hardy sorts are chiefly derivatives of the Mexican L.fulgens, a plant deservedly popular in the Old World, but which has not attained great favor here. These species may be bedded out in the northern states. They are carried over winter in pots or in a cellar. They usually give good results the first year from seed, if started early; or seeds may be sown in the fall and the plants carried over in a frame. The hardiness of the hybrid perennial lobelias in this country is yet to be determined. It is probable that forms of L. fulgens will stand outdoors in the middle states if given winter protection. In the latitude of Washington they are hardy in winter but are scarcely able to withstand the summers.
L. amoena, Michx. Much like L. syphilitica, but the calyx plain and not hispid: corolla ½ in. long, bright blue. N. C., south.— L. anceps, Thunb. Perennial, blue-fld., with somewhat fleshy lvs. and 2-wingcd st. S. Afr. B.M. 2277 (as L. decumbens); 2519(as L. rhisophyta).—L. coronopifolia. Linn. Somewhat shrubby, with rhisophyta hairy lvs. and handsome blue fls. (sometimes 1 in. long), on long scapes. S. Afr. B.M. 644. G.C. II. 15:105.— L. Dortmanna, Linn. Water Lobelia. Aquatic perennial, 1 ft. or less, with lvs. radical and submerged, and small pale blue fls. on a scape. Useful amongst aquatic plants. Native.—L. heterodonta, Sprague. Erect, 3 ft. or more (perennial?): lvs. sessile, lanceolate, serrate: fls. pale green in a long raceme, the lobes about 1 in. long. Trop. Amer.—L. hortensis, DC., is a hybrid form of L. amaena, probably not in cult. now.—L. inflata, Linn. Indian Tobacco. Annual, of N. Amer., with ovate, pubescent, denticulate lvs., erect habit, and small blue or whitish fls.: herbage very acrid: plant formerly a domestic remedy.—L. linnaeoides, Petrie. One of the New Zeal, lobelias: perennial, creeping: lvs. orbicular or ovate- orbicular, toothed: fls. white, purplish beneath, the corolla ½in. long.—-L. nicotianaefolia, Heyne. A striking perennial, 6 ft. and more: st. as thick as the arm at base: lvs. narrow-lanceolate, to 2 ft. long: fls. white (or pale lilac) in a branching infl. 2 ft. or more long. S. Indiat B.M. 5587. G.C. III. 35:195.—L. cessilifolia, Lamb., from Kamtschatka: perennial, 1 ft. or so: fls. violet-blue, produced freely: lvs. broad, serrate: requires a wet place. G. 29:541.—L. subnuda, Benth. Annual from Mex., with radical lyrate lvs. and small pale blue fls. on long pedicels. G.C. III. 2:304.—L. taliensis, Diels. Erect, to 4 ft. (perennial?): lvs. narrow-obovate or obovnte- oblong: fls. blue. 1-1 ¼ in. long. W. China.
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963