September 27, 2002

Great Blue Lobelia

Image copyright Fred First

This plant is abundant now, during the final flowering of autumn, along the creeks and in shaded spots in damp soil.

Can you see the similarities to Cardinal Flower, this plant's close relative, that sports brilliant red flowers of almost identical shape and size.

Posted by fred1st at September 27, 2002 04:20 PM

Lobelia cardinalis is red, Lobelia siphilitica blue. "The species name for this plant refers to its use in the past as a supposed cure for syphilis."

"LOBELIA, BLUE (L. Syphilitica) and LOBELIA RED (L. Cardinalia). Both used in homeopathy. The first is diaphoretic, emetic and cathartic and has been used in dropsy, diarrhoea, syphilis and dysentery, the root being the part used. The Red Lobelia is said to be anthelmintic, nervine and antispasmodic."

Posted by: Anita Rowland at September 28, 2002 12:43 AM

Of course L. siphilitica was named centuries before they had any idea what caused this disease. I wonder if there is indeed any therapeutic activity here. Will have to research that! Thanks, Anita!

Posted by: fredf at September 28, 2002 04:41 AM

Dear sir,

I leave those better informed to debate the name of this very lovely plant. For my part, I say, with Hopkins, in appreciation of this lovely piece,

"The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil. . ." (God's Grandeur--Gerary Manley Hopkins)

Sorry, can't resist posting poetry even at other people's blogs.



Posted by: Steven Riddle at September 28, 2002 08:12 AM

Uh, isnt' it a snap dragon? Blog on!

Posted by: Bene Diction at September 28, 2002 10:17 AM

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