Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lobelia (named from Matthias de Lobel, a Flemish botanist, born in 1538, who passed most of his life in London and died at Highgate in 1616) is a considerable genus of herbs forming the type of an order, Lobeliaceaa, allied to the bell-flower tribe. They have an acrid narcotic latex; scattered exstipulate leaves; a superior, five-lobed calyx; a hi-labiate corolla, generally brightly coloured, white, blue, or scarlet; five epigynous stamens, with their anthers united round the style; a capsular fruit and albuminous seeds. Two species, L. Bortmanna and L. urens, are rare British plants ; hut they are most numerous in tropical and subtropical America. L. Erinus, trailing, with blue flowers; L. cardinalis, erect and scarlet-flowered ; and others are garden favourites. L. inflata, "Indian tobacco," a North American species, in small doses is a'useful expectorant in asthma; but in larger doses it is emetic or even poisonous.