Dortmanna leptostachys (A.DC.) Kuntze
Dortmanna spicata (Lam.) Kuntze
Lobelia bracteata Small
Lobelia claytoniana Michx.
Lobelia goodenioides Willd.
Lobelia hirtella (A.Gray) Greene
Lobelia leptostachys A.DC.
Lobelia nivea Raf.
Lobelia pallida Muhl.
Lobelia paniculata Raf.
Petromarula hirtella (A.Gray) Nieuwl. & Lunell
Rapuntium claytonianum (Michx.) C.Presl
Common Name: Pale Spike
Lobelia spicata is a biennial to perennial plant with an unbranched stem; it can grow around 10 - 50cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
The plant is potentially poisonous[
Many, if not all, species in the genus Lobelia contain a range of piperidine alkaloids, particularly lobeline and lobelanine. If ingested, these can cause a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma. Generally, the degree of toxicity is only moderate and plants are only harmful in larger quantities - indeed several species have medicinal uses and a few are even eaten as wild foods[
Central and eastern N. America - Alberta to Quebec and New Brunswick, south to Texas and Georgia
Dry mostly sandy soils, in fields, meadows, glades and thickets[
Requires a moist soil, succeeding in full sun or partial shade[
A tea made from the leaves is emetic[
A wash made from the stalks was used to treat neck and jaw sores[
A tea made from the root was used in the treatment of trembling limbs - it was applied to scratches made in the limb[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring[
Basal cuttings in spring[
]. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Layering in moist sand, it forms roots at the nodes[