Blue Lobelia found on a small prairie at the North Woods Park in northeast Iowa.
Height: 1-3 feet
Family: Campanulaceae – Bellflower family
Flowering Period: August, September,October
Stems: Erect, stout, simple or sometimes branched, leafy, glabrous or slightly hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, oblong to lanceolate, 1 to 6 inches long, .25 to 1.75 inch wide, glabrous or slightly pubescent; margins irregularly toothed; tips pointed; upper leaves reduced in size.
Inflorescences: Racemes, 4 to 20 inches long, 3-60-flowered, terminal; bracts leaf-like below, reduced above.
Flowers: 5-lobed; calyx bell-shaped, glabrous or bristly hairy, lobes persistent; corollas about 1 inch long, bright blue to pale blue with white stripes at throat; lower lobes 3, prominent; upper lobes 2, erect or curving backward.
Fruits: Capsules, spherical to cup-shaped, about 1/4 inch long; seeds oval, chestnut-brown.
Habitat: Moist soils of seeps, marshes, and stream banks.
Comments: The Cherokee steeped leaves of blue lobelia to make teas used to treat colds, fevers, and rheumatism.
Blue lobelia is related to cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis).