Our first find was Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia), named because it was believed to be a cure for syphilis. They were blooming beside the road in a moist, shaded area. I had to use artificial light to photograph the flowers. The photographs don’t adequately show how intensely blue the flowers are.
The plant was about 15 to 18 inches tall
Closer views of the flower stem. The characteristic hairy calyces are clearly visible.
The tip of the flowering stem
Flowers with immature anther tubes. The characteristic hairy calyces are clearly visible.
Flowers with mature anthers. Pollen is visible on the upper and lower flowers.
Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia) is native to the United States where it’s found in states east of a line from North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, with the exception of Florida. In Georgia, it’s been documented only Rabun County in the far northeast and Catoosa, Dade, Walker and Floyd counties in the far northwest of the state.
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Southeastern Flora: Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)Missouri Plants: Lobelia siphilitica
Illinois Wildflowers: Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)