Herbs & Plants

Lobelia erinus

Botanical Name: Lobelia erinus
Family: Campanulaceae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Lobelia
Species: L. erinus

*Dortmannia debilis var. natalensis Kuntze
*Dortmannia erinoides (L.) Kuntze
*Dortmannia erinus (L.) Kuntze
*Dortmannia flexuosa (C.Presl) Kuntze
*Dortmannia lavandulacea (Klotzsch) Kuntze
*Dortmannia senegalensis (A.DC.) Kuntze

Common Names: Edging lobelia, Garden lobelia or Trailing lobelia

Habitat: Lobelia erinus is native to Southern Africa.It grows in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe to the south to Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and the South African provinces.

Lobelia erinus is a low growing, prostrate or scrambling herbaceous perennial plant growing to 8–15 cm tall. The basal leaves are oval, 10 mm long and 4–8 mm broad, with a toothed margin; leaves higher on the stems are slender and sometimes untoothed.

The flowers are blue to violet in wild plants, with a five-lobed corolla 8–20 mm across; they are produced in loose panicles. About 0.5 to 4.5 inches long inflorescence stems are about 5 inches long, loose racemose inflorescences with many flowers. The hermaphrodite flower is zygomorphic with a length of up to 1 centimeter and quinate with double perianth. The five sepals are fused. The fan-shaped lower lip is trilobed. The color of the crown varies depending on the variety between white, blue, purple, purple, pink or red the center is yellow or white. The five stamens are 3 to 7 millimeters long.

The fruit is a 5–8 mm capsule containing numerous small seeds.


The plant, Lobelia erinus typically requires an area with full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They also prefer moist, rich soil. Start indoors about 10 to 12 weeks prior to the last frost in your region. Spread the tiny seeds just on top of the soil and water thoroughly.

Sow indoors, January to April, thinly, in trays of compost, pressing the seeds into the surface. Do not cover, as lobelia needs light to germinate. Keep soil damp, we suggest a hand sprayer for ideal watering. Keep in a warm environment at a temperature of 15-20°C

Through stem cutting.
Cut Lobelia in the late spring. Cut only pieces of new growth that have not yet flowered. ” Remove any leaves from cuttings. Use your garden shears to cut several 4 to 5-inch pieces of stem growth from the donor Lobelia plant.

Medicinal Uses:
Native Americans used Lobelia to treat respiratory and muscle disorders, and as a purgative. Today it is used to treat asthma and food poisoning, and is often used as part of smoking cessation programs. It is a physical relaxant, and can serve as a nerve depressant, easing tension and panic.The plant has also been used medicinally to treat cancer, syphilis, and other venereal diseases.It’s main active compound, lobeline, may help fight asthma, depression, and memory issues.

Other Uses:
Lobelia erinus L., an annual used extensively as a garden border plant, has numerous varieties that vary in foliage color, flower size, and growth habit.

Known Hazards:
Lobelia is a potentially toxic herb. It can be safely used in small doses (particularly homeopathic doses), but moderate-to-large doses may cause side effects ranging from dry mouth and nausea to convulsions and even coma (see “Precautions” section)

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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