Left: Lobelia x 'Flamingo' A hybrid of garden origin.
Next: Lobelia Siphilitica alba The white form of the species.
Centre: Lobelia x 'Roseneath' Another named hybrid.
Next: Lobelia x Speciosa A seedling of the hybrid grex.
Right: Lobelia Siphilitica The blue form of the species.
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Botanical name: Lobelia Siphilitica and its hybrids.
Common name: Perennial Lobelia
Comments/uses: The scanned image is approximately half normal size.
These lobelias are mostly hybrids derived from the species L siphilitica. Lobelia x speciosa is the result of crossing L. siphilitica (eastern North American species) and L. Cardinalis(a Mexican species). The name "speciosa" means special or showy.
There are cultivated forms other than the ones pictured, some having purple foliage (Queen Victoria) and others with purple or dark blue flowers.
They prefer a rich soil thats not too dry and will grow in semi-shade to full sun. L. siphilitica alba looks particularly good in the shade. A good mulch of compost in the spring will help see them through the summer months.
Named forms must be propagated from cuttings or by spring division to maintain the named clone. Most of the hybrids seed and will naturalise, but there will be variation among the seedlings. Clumps are probably best divided every two or three years and given plenty of compost at replanting time.