Blog and photos by Fran Glass
Secretary and Membership Chair, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitca)
(also called blue cardinal flower or great lobelia)
This Missouri native perennial is clump-forming. It grows about two feet tall with showy flowers in August and September.
Why I chose this plant:
I so enjoy the beautiful blue color and unusual shape of the flowers.
The Xerces Society guide, Attracting Native Pollinators, calls it “an exceptional bumble bee plant.”
In her book, Pollinators of Native Plants, Heather Holm states, “Bumble bees are the most frequent visitor and primary pollinator of great blue lobelia.” Heather also mentions digger bees, yellow-faced bees, small carpenter bees, metallic green sweat bees, and small sweat bees in her book, Bees, An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide.
Blue lobelia prefers full sun to light shade in average to moist soil. It grows naturally in wet conditions along streams and marshes throughout Missouri. It does well in rain gardens. In dry conditions, lobelia requires watering.
MOBOT plant finder
Where to Purchase:
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery