The tall spikes of brilliant blue flowers on this wetland native lobelia attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other winged neighbors to the garden! Lobelia siphilitica provides outstanding color for the border of a garden, in wet meadows or along the edge of ponds. A late season flower, blooms will last into the early fall.
The Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) was worked with by the Iroquois in the North as a remedy for syphilis thus its species name given by Linnaeus. Lobelia syphiltica was also used as a tonic by Native tribes after an influenza attack. Today, Lobelia should be worked with under the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner as there are some contraindications, especially as a strong emetic. However, Lobelia is a powerful medicinal ally in proper dosage.
Great Blue Lobelia stimulates the respiratory center causing stronger, deeper breaths and it useful for respiratory problems, like asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, and pneumonia. Simultaneously Lobelia relaxes the respiratory and neuro-muscular systems, acting as an antispasmodic. This is due to the presence of lobeline in the plant, which has the highest concentration in the seeds. The whole plant is considered analgesic, cathartic, expectorant, narcotic, stimulant and a sedative.