Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Glade Lobelia - Lobelia glandulosa
Glade lobelia (Lobelia glandulosa) occurs statewide and in much of the Southeast in moist soil habitats such as wet prairies, marshes, and wet pinelands. Throughout this region, it goes largely unnoticed except when it flowers.
This is a small deciduous perennial that dies back to the ground each winter and re-emerges in the spring. A small basal rosette of linear leaves is present most months. By early summer, the central flower stalk becomes apparent and reaches a mature height of 2-3 feet. The light lavender to deep pinkish flowers open along the stalk from late summer to fall. As with other members of this genus, flowering starts at the bottom and works its way up the stalk. The attractive blooms are visited mostly by butterflies, but also bees.
Glade lobelia is not widely propagated for the home landscape. Despite its attractive flowers, its small stature and requirements for wet soils limit its use in most settings. We have grown this species sporadically in our home "marsh" at Hawthorn Hill, but have found it difficult to keep over long periods of time. If you wish to give it a try, plant it in moist soils with good sunlight and make sure the soils do not dry out for extended periods.