Lobelia kalmii

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

Lobelia kalmii is a species of flowering plant with a distribution primarily across Canada[1] and the northern United States in temperate and boreal regions.[2] It was formerly known as Lobelia strictiflora (Rydb.) Lunell and has a variety of English names including Kalm's lobelia, Ontario lobelia and Brook lobelia.


Lobelia kalmii is a small plant (10 – 40 cm) of wet environments such as bogs, wet meadows, and rocky shorelines, including wet alvars, where it grows in calcareous soil or cracks between limestone rocks.

It has blue flowers, with a white center. It has thin upper leaves and spatulate basal leaves.[3] It starts flowering in July, lasting into September.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Although other species of Lobelia are cultivated for ornamental purposes, the small (1 cm) flowers of Lobelia kalmii have not endeared this plant to growers. It can be found though on seed exchanges among native plant enthusiasts.[4] Its hardy nature may allow it to produce masses of scattered plants within downspout rock gardens.

Traditional use[edit]

Native Americans used Lobelia to treat respiratory and muscle disorders, and as a purgative.[citation needed] The species used most commonly in modern herbalism is Lobelia inflata (Indian Tobacco).[5]


  1. ^ Natural Resources Canada Plant Hardiness Site
  2. ^ USDA PLANTS Profile
  3. ^ Peterson, Roger Tory & McKenny, Margaret (1968), A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern/Northcentral North America, Houghton Mifflin 
  4. ^ North American Native Plant Association Seed Exchange
  5. ^ "Lobelia". EBSCO Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Review Board. January 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-12.