Lobelia tupa

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Lobelia tupa
Lobelia tupa inflorescence.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Subfamily: Lobelioideae
Genus: Lobelia
Species: L. tupa
Binomial name
Lobelia tupa
L.

Lobelia tupa (Tupa, Tabaco del diablo) is a species of Lobelia native to central Chile from Valparaíso south to Los Lagos regions.[1]

It is an evergreen perennial plant growing to 4 m tall. The foliage grey-green, with elliptical leaves 10–15 cm long. The flowers are red, tubular and 2-lipped and are produced in a sympodium pattern. It is, and thrives in dry soils.[1]

Its latex is used as an abortifacient, and a hallucinogen, which may explain one of its common names, Tabaco del Diablo (Devil's tobacco). Ironically, this plant has been used as a counter effect herb on nicotine addiction because of alkaloid Lobeline, a nicotinic agonist. The Mapuche Indians of Southern Chile consider it a sacred plant. Tupa leaves have also been found to contain chemicals that act as a respiratory stimulant.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Flora Chilena: Lobelia tupa
  2. ^ Plants for a Future: Lobelia tupa