Lobelia erinus

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Lobelia erinus
Lobelia close-up (aka).jpg
Lobelia erinus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Subfamily: Lobelioideae
Genus: Lobelia
Species: L. erinus
Binomial name
Lobelia erinus

Lobelia erinus (edging lobelia, garden lobelia or trailing lobelia) is a species of flowering plant in the bellflower family Campanulaceae, native to southern Africa, from Malawi and Namibia south to South Africa.[2]


It is a prostrate or scrambling herbaceous perennial plant growing to 8–15 cm tall. The basal leaves are oval, 10 mm long and 4–8 mm broad, with a toothed margin; leaves higher on the stems are slender and sometimes untoothed. The flowers are blue to violet in wild plants, with a five-lobed corolla 8–20 mm across; they are produced in loose panicles. The fruit is a 5–8 mm capsule containing numerous small seeds.[3][4]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Lobelia erinus is a very popular edging plant in gardens, especially for hanging baskets and window boxes. It has a particularly long flowering period, from mid spring to early autumn. It is perennial in subtropical climates, but often grown as an annual plant in colder areas. It is widely available in Spring as a young plant, but must be kept indoors until all danger of frost has passed.[5]


Numerous cultivars have been selected, either with a bushy or a trailing habit, in a wide range of flower colours, including white, pink, red, pale to dark blue, and purple, often with a prominent white eye. Some of the better known cultivars include 'Blue Moon', 'Gracilis', 'Crystal Palace',[6] 'Sapphire', 'Rosamund' and 'Riviera Rose'.[3]

In the United Kingdom the following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:[7]

  • 'Cambridge Blue'[8]
  • Cascade Series[9]
  • 'Colour Cascade'[10]
  • 'Crystal Palace'[11]
  • 'Mrs Clibran'[12]
  • 'Purple Star'[13]
  • 'Regatta Midnight Blue'[14]
  • 'Regatta Sky Blue'[15]
  • 'Richardii' syn. Lobelia Richardsonii[16]
  • 'Riviera Blue Eyes'[17]
  • 'String of Pearls'[18]
  • Techno Heat Trailing Light Blue Improved[19]
  • Waterfall Blue[20]



  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
  2. ^ "Lobelia erinus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  4. ^ PlantZAfrica: Lobelia
  5. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  6. ^ Plant of the week: Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace'
  7. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 61. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  8. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Cambridge Blue'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  9. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus Cascade Series". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  10. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Colour Cascade'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  12. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Mrs Clibran'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Purple Star'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  14. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Regatta Midnight Blue'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  15. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Regatta Sky Blue'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  16. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia richardsonii". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  17. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'Riviera Blue Eyes". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  18. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus 'String of Pearls'". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  19. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus Techno Heat Trailing Light Blue Improved = 'Lobstrahob' (PBR) (Techno Heat Series)". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  20. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Lobelia erinus Waterfall Blue = 'Balobwablu' (PBR) (Waterfall Series)". Retrieved 25 March 2018.