For Your Garden - January 2015
Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
spiked lobelia (Lobelia spicata)
Photo © River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com
Spiked lobelia grows in dry woodlands and prairies throughout the state. The plant reaches one to two and one-half feet in height. It has white-colored sap. Leaves are arranged alternately on the stem. Each leaf is lance-shaped and shows only slight indentations on the margins. Flowers appear in July and August in a spike. Flower color ranges from white to blue. Each flower has two narrow lobes on top and three wider ones on the bottom, all of which unite in a tube at their base.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.