Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Big and Blue

Here's one of the easiest and best looking of our late summer native plants, the big blue lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica.  No idea about why it bears this specific epithet, perhaps something based on the old doctrine of signatures?  Anyone else have an idea? 


Anonymous said...

Dearest Phactor,

Root extracts of a number of species of Lobelia were used by various native american tribes to treat syphilis and were used in western herbal medicine well into 20th century. Lobelias contain a number of active ingredients - main medical interest now is in countering nicotine addiction.


The Phytophactor said...

Thanks for providing that information. But then shouldn't it be "antisyphilitica"? And somehow comments don't get emailed to TPP any more.

Anonymous said... know how it is....late Friday afternoon....clocking off time... so many names still to make up...

.... I reckon Linnaeus just could not be bothered !