Lobelia siphilitica L.
Blue Cardinal Flower
Family - Campanulaceae
Stems - To 1m tall, angular, glabrous to pubescent on angles, herbaceous, with milky sap.
Stem with milky sap.
Leaves - Alternate, sessile, oblong to lanceolate or oblanceolate, 2-6cm broad, to 15cm long, crisped or toothed(or both) on margins, typically pubescent on both surfaces, acute at the apex.
Inflorescence - Terminal raceme with +20 flowers. Flowers subtended by foliaceous bracts.
Flowers - Resupinate. Corolla purple-blue, tubular, 2-3cm long, with perforations (fenestrate), 5-lobed. Filaments united into a tube to 1.5cm long and surrounding style. Pedicels with pair of small bracteoles at or above the middle. Calyx pubescent to glabrous, +/-1.5cm long. Calyx lobes 5-6mm broad, with auricles at base.
Flowering - August - October.
Habitat - Wet areas.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - Steyermark
splits the species into two varieties, the most common being variety siphilitica.
A white flowered form of var. siphilitica, fo. albiflora,
is presented on the "White flowers alternate" portion of this website.
Another form, fo. purpurea Palmer &Steyermark,
has very deep purple flowers.
Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 8-15-03(DETenaglia); also at Little Lost Creek Conservation Area, Warren County, MO, 9-6-2015 (SRTurner).