Dortmanna berteroi (A.DC.) Kuntze
Dortmanna bicalcarata Kuntze
Dortmanna mucronata (Cav.) Kuntze
Dortmanna philippiana Kuntze
Dortmanna tupa (L.) Kuntze
Lobelia bicalcarata (Kuntze) Zahlbr. ex K.Schum.
Lobelia feuillei (G.Don) G.Nicholson
Lobelia mucronata Cav.
Lobelia serrata Meyen
Rapuntium mucronatum (Cav.) C.Presl
Rapuntium tupa (L.) C.Presl
Tupa berteroi A.DC.
Tupa cavanillesiana G.Don
Tupa feuillei G.Don
Tupa montana Phil.
Tupa mucronata (Cav.) A.DC.
Common Name: Devil's Tobacco
Lobelia tupa is a robust, perennial plant producing several stems from the base. These stems are hollow, usually unbranched and either herbaceous or somewhat woody; the plant growing around 50 - 300cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It has potential for use as an ornamental[
The whole plant is poisonous[
]. Ingestion of the latex can result in intestinal distress and bloody diarrhoea[
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[
Even smelling this plant has been known to cause sickness[
S. America - southern central Chile.
Regions of deciduous forest and evergreen temperate rain forest, growing along roadsides, fields, streambanks, grassy slopes and forest margins; at elevations up to 400 metres, occasionally to 940 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Lobelia tupa is cold-hardy to about -10°c, but in areas with mild maritime winters plants can be induced into early growth in the spring and this growth is more susceptible to frost damage[
Best grown in full sun or in an open position in light shade with some shelter from the wind[
]. Requires a permanently moist fertile loamy soil[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
The flowers are usually fertilized by hummingbirds, but
A juice (latex[
]) pressed from the leaves is used to relieve the pain of toothache[
]. The latex is known to cause great discomfort (and possibly blindness) if rubbed into the eyes[
The plant is smoked as an intoxicant[
]. Said to have a narcotic effect, though there is no certainty that this plant is truly hallucinogenic[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse[
]. 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 the spring[
]. Plants can also be divided and potted up in the autumn and kept in a cold frame over the winter to protect against losses in severe winters[