Favorite Native: Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Blue Lobelia blooms in late summer (July to September) on one-to-four foot spikes. The plant got its latin name, Lobelia siphilitica, because it was thought to cure syphilis. Blue Lobelia self-seeds forming attractive colonies.

Blue Lobelia perfers partial sun and grows wild in moist soil prairies, moist meadows near rivers, woodland borders, wetlands, fens, lake borders, and moist areas of pastures. I grow them in a wooded area bordering a wetland. Blue Lobelia is also a great plant for rain gardens. Good companion plants include native Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, and Iris.

Blue Lobelia attracts hummingbirds and bumblebees. This plants STARTS to bloom at the end of summer when many other flowering plants are offering the last of their blooms. The flowers are a true treat for long-tongued native bees, like bumblebees.


Mary Pellerito is a Michigan-based garden and nature writer. Mary is a member of the Garden Writer’s Association, Wild Ones, and she is a Master Gardener.  This article was previously published on her blog Going Native.


To find native plants for sale locally, check Pick-A-Pepper.com.
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