thrive best in full sun in areas of moist soil where the summers
are relatively cool. They will, however, grow well in hot
areas if partial shade is provided. Hummingbirds are particularly
fond of the fragrant blooms, which are from one-half to three-fourths
of an inch in diameter. The blooms of lobelia range from deep
purple to bright red to white and everything in between. The
foliage is rich green or crimson.
the varieties of lobelia seldom grow to more than six inches
in height. Some varieties, however, can reach heights of from
one to three feet. The bloom period of lobelia ranges from
late spring into mid autumn. They require an average amount
of water, and are able to adapt to a wide range of soil conditions.
Propagation of lobelia is most successfully done by seeds
that have been sown indoors for ten to twelve weeks before
the last frost. The plants should then be transplanted into
the garden once all danger of frost has past.
North American doctors used lobelia to treat coughs, as well
as spasms in the lungs and elsewhere in the body. Lobelia
is considered by some authorities to be a wonderful expectorant
in bronchitis. The species lobelia siphilitica received its
name from its use as a supposed cure for syphilis. Lobelia
is considered poisonous in large doses, and should not be
used as medicine without proper training and research.