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Lobelia laxiflora is a species of flowerin gplant in the bellflower family, Campanulaceae. It is native to the Americas, where it is distributed in South, Central, and North America as far north as Arizona in the United States. It is known by several English-language common names, including Mexican lobelia, Sierra Madre lobelia, Mexican cardinalflower, looseflowers lobelia, and drooping lobelia. In Spanish it is known as aretitos, acaxóchitl, and chilpanxóchitl.
In general, this is a perennial herb, subshrub, or shrub usually growing up to about 1.5 meters in maximum height, but known to reach 3 meters. The leaves vary in shape, size, and texture. The inflorescence is a raceme up to 40 centimeters long bearing leaflike bracts and several flowers. The flower may be over 6 centimeters long including its tubular base and corolla with narrow, spreading lobes. It is usually red, sometimes yellowish. The anthers protrude from the corolla. The plant produces seeds and also spreads via underground runners.
The hummingbird flower mite (Tropicoseius chiriquensis) lives in the flowers of this plant, feeding on the nectar and pollen and laying eggs. Each flower blooms for about a week, enough time for the mite to complete its life cycle.
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- Lobelia laxiflora. Plant Abstracts. Arizona Game and Fish Department.
- Lobelia laxiflora. USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
- Velázquez, T. and J. F. Ornelas. (2010). Effects of pollen in Lobelia laxiflora (Lobeliaceae) long-lived flowers on fecundity of Tropicoseius chiriquensis (Acari: Mesostigmata: Ascidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 103(3) 397-403.
- Rahman, E. H. A. and A. R. A. Monem. (2014). Cholinesterase inhibiting activity and a new piperidine alkaloid from Lobelia laxiflora L. roots (Campanulaceae). Rec Nat Prod 8(2) 199-202.
- Philipov, S., et al. (1998). Phytochemical study and antiinflammatory properties of Lobelia laxiflora L. Z Naturforsch C 53(5-6) 311-17.