Lobelia siphilitica

(Great Blue Lobelia)

Lobelia siphilitica looks a little like its cousin the Cardinal Flower, but its spiky stems carry brilliant blue to purple flowers rather than red. Great Blue Lobelia flowers late, August to October, so it will be ushering in those chilly fall days. This brilliant blue wildflower may be a beauty, but don't eat it, as it is somewhat narcotic (ie. poisonous) as we're finding common amongst many native plants. Once widespread throughout the midwest and east, Lobelia was used to treat veneral diseases. Great Blue Lobelia can grow into a very full flower. Unlike most of our other wildflowers, Lobelia siphilitica does well in shade and grows to fairly modest 2 to 3 feet. Like Cardinal Flower hummingsbirds love the Great Blue.