Lobelia erinus, a plant that comes from South Africa but has been present in Europe since 1752 and gives us wonderful blooms. IS' perfect for the rushed and for those who want everything immediately because it has the reputation of growing quickly and reaching maturity in a rather short time.
It is much loved, both in the perennial and annual versions, but perennials are the most comfortable and practical. We often find specimens of it in gardens, it is among the first plants chosen when it comes to create spots of green then able to bloom without too many problems and without too many waiting.
Generally the flowers are of purple or blue color but we can also find species and cultivars that sport colors such as red, pink, lilac and orange. These alternate shades they are more fashionable in England and in other northern European countries, however, each is free to choose from a range of over 300 species, most of which come from temperate and cool, or tropical areas.
This variety has the distinction of having one very compact rosette consisting of dark green and large leaves. From it, in spring, a fleshy, very branched, red stem begins to sprout and grow, which then, once it reaches one meter in height, is ready to show bright red flowers. They have the low trilobed petal and the upper one bilobed. At the end of flowering, woody capsules filled with seeds appear.
There Cardinalis is one of the many existing varieties of Lobelia, a plant with a prostrate habit, excellent to decorate flower beds but also to be placed in hanging pots. Its stems are thin and flexible, almost elastic.
From April until the first cold it produces a cascade of small tubular flowers, of an intense purple color; there are varieties with blue, light blue, white or pink flowers. Easy to grow, it is very common in European gardens, where it has been cultivated for many decades.
As mentioned, the Lobelia flower is usually blue / violet but it can also take on different colors. It is often associated with other plants such as geraniums and petunias, because it is able to create very interesting contrasts of colors, for painting.
Today we can in fact also choose between the light blue, white, pink and purple. Among the most common cultivars of Lobelia are the Aubretia shades, in light blue, dark blue, purple, red violet and white, the blue stone, only light blue, the Blue cascade, with sky-blue flowers and "creeping" shapes. The flower of the Crystal palace it is of a wonderful dark blue flower, that of the Rosamund of a very particular burgundy.
Between properties that distinguish Lobelia, transversely, in all its varieties or almost, there are the reduced dimensions of the leaves, toothed and dark green. Almost all of them have thin and 2 cm high stems, with a large number of flowers in which alone 3 lower petals half a cm wide form a lip with a white dot in the center, except in some cases where the dot is omitted.
Economic, as seedlings, they are to be placed in partial shade-shade areas where there is not too much heat. They should be watered regularly, otherwise they are quite autonomous in growth, as well as fast.
One of the larger varieties is the Siphilitica, so named because it was thought to cure syphilis. Its leaves are about 10 cm long, yours blue flowers are 2.5 cm wide and appear in mid-summer to autumn. Less large, but particularly resistant, there is the Laxiflora, woody at the base and with flowers composed of a red tube and 2 yellow lips. This Lobelia resists up to -7 ° C.
Lobelia on the balcony
For the balcony I recommend the Speciosa, very rustic and which has many colors to choose from, it is also very easy to grow and withstands even freezing temperatures.
From basal rosette there are many erect stems on which we will then find in spring, the flowers of colors that can range from purple to pink to purple. The L. Bedding is also excellent for the balcony, its seeds are also available online: 2000 seeds for 1.18 euros. He will give us sky blue flowers!
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- Blue flowers
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- How to decorate a balcony with flowers