Index- plants in this Family
Campanulacea / Bluebell
Palespike Lobelia (Lobelia spicata)
Palespike Lobelia is also known as Spiked Lobelia.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 76cm in height (30inches). Highly variable with several recognized varieties.
Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Each leaf is toothed and usually hairy or downy except Var. spicata which is all or mostly glabrous. In our varieties most leaves are ovate or obovate, near the base with the smaller upper leaves becoming more lanceolate. Var. scaposa, has mostly basal leaves which are larger than the few stem leaves.
Flowers: The flowers are irregular in shape and are up to 1.27cm long (0.5 inches) and are up to 2cm wide (0.75 inches). They are dark blue to light blue sometimes white. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into late summer.
Habitat: Fields, borders and open woods
Range: All of the Midwestern and Eastern U. S. except the extreme south.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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This lobelia has a wide range and several varities.

Medical Uses: Native American healers used a plant tea as an emetic. A root tea used to treat trembling by scratching the skin of the affected limb and working the tea under the skin.(Foster & Duke) The native healers had a special instrument consisting of a wooden handle with several needles used to apply medicine beneath the skin much a modern doctor might use a hypodermic needle.(Densmore) Warning: All lobelias contain alkaloids that may be dangerous or even fatal in sufficient amounts. See Lobelia, Lobelia .

Similar Species: There are many similar species and many varieties of some. Of particular interest to those in the mid south is L. appendiculata. It is usually shorter than L. Spicata and a variety know as Gattinger's Lobelia, Lobelia appendiculata var. Gattingeri is endemic to the cedar glades in the central basin of Tennessee. It is named for the botanist Dr. Augustin Gattinger who came to Nashville during the Civil War and played a pivotal role in identifying the cedar glades as important, unique and beautifully rich botanical areas.(Hemmerly)

: Downy Lobelia, Lobelia puberula

See the links below this image for other images. (5)
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Lobelia spicata var. spicata

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Lobelia, Pale Spiked (Lobelia spicata var. scaposa) - wide view  © Daniel Reed
This is Lobelia spicata var. scaposa which has mostly basal leaves.
Lobelia, Pale Spiked (Lobelia spicata var. scaposa) - close view of flower  © Daniel Reed
Palespike Lobelia (Lobelia spicata var. spicata) - close view of flower, white  © Daniel Reed
Lobelia, Palespike (Lobelia spicata var. spicata) - wide, white  © Daniel Reed
Lobelia, Palespike (Lobelia spicata var. spicata) - leaf  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



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