Edging lobelia Lobelia erinus, copyright H. Zell.

Belongs within: Campanulaceae.
Contains: Downingia, Cyanea, Siphocampylus.

Lobelia is a cosmopolitan genus of herbaceous plants with resupinate flowers due to a twisted peduncle. Recent phylogenetic studies have indicated that the genus as commonly recognised is non-monophyletic with a number of other lobelioid genera nested within it.

Characters (from Black & Robertson 1965): Herbs; flowers in some species dioecious by sterility of anthers in females and of small ovary in males. Sepals 5; corolla-tube slit to base on upper or posterior side, two upper lobes more deeply separated and forming more or less distinct upper lip, lower lip three-lobed, spreading, two protuberances frequently present in throat below; filaments inserted at base of corolla and often united to each other aboe middle; anthers united in an oblique ring around style; stigma two-lobed, usually with ring of collecting hairs below it and exserted beyond anthers in female or bisexual flowers; ovary two-celled; capsule opening at summit loculicidally in two valves.

<==Lobelia Linnaeus 1753 [incl. Colensoa Hooker 1853] A61
    |--+--L. borneensis CM16 [=Pratia borneensis P88]
    |  `--+--+--L. heterophylla CM16
    |     |  `--L. physaloides Cunn. 1839 CM16, A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |     `--+--+--L. baumannii CM16
    |        |  `--L. hartlaubii CM16
    |        `--+--+--L. malowensis CM16
    |           |  `--L. patula CM16
    |           `--+--L. coronopifolia CM16
    |              `--+--L. holstii CM16
    |                 `--L. tomentosa CM16
    `--+--+--+--L. thermalis CM16
       |  |  `--+--Grammatotheca bergiana CM16
       |  |     `--+--L. aquatica CM16
       |  |        `--L. zeylanica CM16
       |  `--+--L. linearis CM16
       |     `--Monopsis CM16
       |          |--+--M. alba CM16
       |          |  `--M. stellarioides CM16
       |          |       |--M. s. ssp. stellarioides B06
       |          |       `--M. s. ssp. schimperiana B06
       |          `--+--M. debilis CM16
       |             `--M. flava CM16
       `--+--L. sonderiana CM16
          `--+--L. galpinii CM16
             `--+--+--L. laxa CM16
                |  `--+--L. erinus CM16
                |     `--+--L. fervens CM16
                |        `--L. graniticola CM16
                `--+--+--L. anceps Linnaeus 1781 CM16, BR65
                   |  `--Wimmerella hederacea CM16
                   `--+--L. jasionoides CM16
                      `--+--L. urens CM16
                         `--+--+--Downingia CM16
                            |  `--Solenopsis CM16
                            |       |--S. antiphonitis CM16
                            |       |--S. laurentia CM16
                            |       `--S. minuta CM16
                            `--+--+--+--Diastatea micrantha CM16
                               |  |  `--+--Palmerella debilis CM16
                               |  |     `--+--L. organensis CM16
                               |  |        `--L. petiolata CM16
                               |  `--+--+--+--L. inflata CM16
                               |     |  |  `--L. kalmii CM16
                               |     |  `--+--L. spicata CM16
                               |     |     `--+--L. dortmanna CM16
                               |     |        `--+--L. puberula CM16
                               |     |           `--+--L. cardinalis CM16
                               |     |              |    |--L. c. ssp. cardinalis H93
                               |     |              |    `--L. c. ssp. graminea H93
                               |     |              |         |--L. c. ssp. g. var. graminea H93
                               |     |              |         |--L. c. ssp. g. var. multiflora H93
                               |     |              |         `--L. c. ssp. g. var. pseudosplendens H93
                               |     |              `--L. siphilitica CM16
                               |     `--+--+--L. laxiflora CM16
                               |        |  `--+--L. irasuensis CM16
                               |        |     `--L. xalapensis CM16
                               |        `--+--L. portoricensis CM16
                               |           `--+--L. kraussi CM16
                               |              `--+--Hippobroma longiflora CM16
                               |                 `--+--L. martagon CM16
                               |                    `--L. stricta CM16
                               `--+--+--+--Dialypetalum CM16
                                  |  |  |--+--L. gloria-montis CM16
                                  |  |  |  `--L. villosa CM16
                                  |  |  `--Trematolobelia CM16
                                  |  |       |--T. kauaiensis CM16
                                  |  |       `--T. macrostachys CM16
                                  |  `--+--+--+--L. boninensis CM16
                                  |     |  |  `--+--L. niihauensis CM16
                                  |     |  |     `--+--L. hypoleuca CM16
                                  |     |  |        `--L. yuccoides CM16
                                  |     |  `--+--+--L. longisepala CM16
                                  |     |     |  `--L. morogoroensis CM16
                                  |     |     `--+--L. stricklandiae CM16
                                  |     |        `--+--L. exaltata CM16
                                  |     |           `--L. fistulosa CM16
                                  |     `--+--+--L. gregoriana CM16
                                  |        |  |    |--L. g. ssp. gregoriana CM16
                                  |        |  |    `--L. g. ssp. sattimae CM16
                                  |        |  `--+--+--L. columnaris CM16
                                  |        |     |  `--L. gibberoa CM16
                                  |        |     `--+--Sclerotheca jayorum CM16
                                  |        |        `--+--L. thuliniana CM16
                                  |        |           `--Apetahia longistigmata CM16
                                  |        `--+--+--Delissea CM16
                                  |           |  |    |--D. rhytidosperma CM16
                                  |           |  |    |--D. subcordata CM16
                                  |           |  |    `--D. undulata CM16
                                  |           |  `--Brighamia CM16
                                  |           |       |--B. insignis CM16
                                  |           |       `--B. rockii CM16
                                  |           `--+--+--L. leschenaultiana CM16
                                  |              |  `--+--L. nicotianifolia CM16
                                  |              |     `--L. seguinii CM16
                                  |              `--Cyanea CM16
                                  `--+--+--L. angulata Forster 1786 CM16, A61 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |  `--+--+--+--L. nummularia CM16
                                     |     |  |  `--L. oligophylla CM16
                                     |     |  `--+--L. linnaeoides (Hooker) Petrie 1891 (see below for synonymy) A61
                                     |     |     `--+--L. macrodon CM16
                                     |     |        `--L. roughii Hooker 1864 CM16, A61 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |     `--+--L. chinensis CM16
                                     |        `--+--‘Isotoma’ axillaris CM16
                                     |           `--+--+--L. arnhemiaca CM16
                                     |              |  `--L. purpurascens CM16 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |              `--+--L. loochooensis CM16
                                     |                 `--Isotoma CM16
                                     |                      |--I. fluviatilis Mueller 1869 CM16, BR65 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |                      |--I. hypocrateriformis OS04
                                     |                      |--I. petraea Mueller 1852 (see below for synonymy) BR65
                                     |                      `--I. scapigera Don 1834 (see below for synonymy) BR65
                                     `--+--+--L. polyphylla CM16
                                        |  `--+--L. bridgesii CM16
                                        |     `--+--L. excelsa CM16
                                        |        `--L. tupa CM16
                                        `--Siphocampylus CM16

Lobelia incertae sedis:
  L. aberdarica CM16
  L. aguana CM16
  L. arenaria CM16
  L. assurgens JS87
    |--L. a. var. assurgens J87
    `--L. a. var. santa-clarae J87
  L. calcarata CM16
  L. christii JS87
  L. deckenii CM16
  L. dentata H87
  L. dioica LK14
  L. douglasiana LK14
  L. dunnii H93
    |--L. d. var. dunnii H93
    `--L. d. var. serrata H93
  L. erectiuscula O88
  L. fenestralis CM16
  L. flexuosa CM16
  L. fulgens D59
  L. giberroa K09
  L. gracilis H87
  L. hereroensis CV06
  L. hotteana Judd & Skean 1987 JS87
  L. kauaensis CM16
  L. leucotos LK14
  L. mcvaughii CM16
  L. nana CM16
  L. perpusilla Hooker 1853 CM16, A61 [=Pratia perpusilla Hooker 1864 A61]
  L. rarifolia OS04
  L. rhynchopetalum CM16
  L. robusta JS87
  L. rotundifolia JS87
  L. stenophylla BR65
  L. tenuior GK00
  L. vivaldii CM16
  L. sect. Hemipogon BR65
    |--L. alata Labillardi√®re 1804 BR65
    `--L. pratioides Bentham 1869 BR65
  L. sect. Holopogon BR65
    |--L. gibbosa Labillardi√®re 1804 [incl. L. browniana, L. microsperma, L. simplicicaulis] BR65
    `--L. rhombifolia De Vriese 1845 BR65

Isotoma fluviatilis Mueller 1869 CM16, BR65 [=Lobelia fluviatilis Brown 1810 BR65, Laurentia fluviatilis (Brown) Wimmer 1948 BR65; incl. Lo. inundata Brown 1910 BR65]

Isotoma petraea Mueller 1852 [=Laurentia petraea (Mueller) Wimmer 1948] BR65

Isotoma scapigera Don 1834 [=Lobelia scapigera Brown 1810, Laurentia scapigera (Brown) Endlicher 1838] BR65

Lobelia angulata Forster 1786 CM16, A61 [=Pratia angulata (Forster) Hooker 1844 A61; incl. L. littoralis Cunningham 1839 A61, P. angulata var. minor Carse 1930 A61, P. angulata var. obovata Wimmer 1943 A61, Lobelia rugulosa Graham 1829 A61, P. treadmanii ms A61]

Lobelia linnaeoides (Hooker) Petrie 1891 [=Pratia linnaeoides Hooker 1864; incl. L. linnaeoides var. brevipilis Wimmer 1953] A61

Lobelia physaloides Cunn. 1839 CM16, A61 [=*Colensoa physaloides (Cunn.) Hooker 1853 A61, Pratia physaloides (Cunn.) Hemsl. 1886 A61]

Lobelia purpurascens CM16 [=Pratia purpurascens (Brown) Wimmer 1953 BR65]

Lobelia roughii Hooker 1864 CM16, A61 [incl. L. roughii var. alces Wimm. 1953 A61]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[BR65] Black, J. M., & E. L. Robertson. 1965. Flora of South Australia. Part IV. Oleaceae–Compositae. W. L. Hawes, Government Printer: Adelaide.

[B06] Burgoyne, P. M. 2006. Review: Plants of the Simen. A flora of the Simen Mountains and surroundings, northern Ethiopia. Bothalia 36 (2): 253.

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175–189.

[CM16] Crowl, A. A., N. W. Miles, C. J. Visger, K. Hansen, T. Ayers, R. Haberle & N. Cellinese. 2016. A global perspective on Campanulaceae: biogeographic, genomic, and floral evolution. American Journal of Botany 103 (2): 233–245.

[D59] Darwin, C. 1859. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life 1st ed. John Murray: London. (reprinted 1967. Atheneum: New York; 1968. Penguin Books: London)

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[H87] Haviland, E. 1887. Flowering seasons of Australian plants. No. II. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1103–1104.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[JS87] Judd, W. S., & J. D. Skean, Jr. 1987. Three new angiosperms from Parc National Pic Macaya, Massif de la Hotte, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 137–150.

[K09] Kelbessa, E. 2009. Three new species of Acanthaceae from Ethiopia. Kew Bulletin 64 (1): 57–65.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[OS04] Obbens, F. J., & L. W. Sage. 2004. Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt (Nature Reserve A21064). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (1): 19–28.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

Last updated: 6 June 2019.

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