The genus Lobelia (Family: Lobeliaceae) includes around 375 species of shrubs, herbs, annuals and perennials, most from temperate climates.
Appearance: Small green foliage somewhat succulent.
Flowers: Highly attractive coloured flower stalks in mainly white, mauves, & reds.
Features: Attractive flowers.
Requirements: Fertile moist soil essential. Neutral to slightly acid soil required. Should be well drained. Prefers warm climates. Excessive humidity may cause health problems. Prefers full sun.
Culture: Irrigate, feed and mulch well. Consider replacing every 1-3 years Prune after flowering.
Pest & Disease: Grasshoppers, mites, whitefly are the most common problems. Occasional use of carbaryl and miticides should be sufficient.
Species & Varieties:
L. cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) -Herbaceous plant to 1m tall, reddish green foliage, spectacular scarlet flower spikes.
L. gibberoa (Giant Lobelia) -From mountainous areas in the tropics, this plant can reach 6m or more. Tiny green-white flowers.
L. laxiflora -A small shrub to 1m, with slender canes that bear tubular red and yellow flowers. Best if pruned back to ground level after flowering.