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Lobelia tupa

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Lobelia tupa

The most dramatic of the whole family is this species originating in Chile, named Lobelia tupa. It is spoken of in awe by the few gardening people who grow it, for it becomes a large plant with magnificent leaves, for which alone it would be worth growing, but from rosettes formed by the foliage rise to 120cm tall stems set with blood-red campanula like flowers. Lobelia tupa is a stunning unusual evergreen perennial which although from Chile has proved remarkably hardy if grown on a free draining soil in a sunny warm place. The flowers are quite unlike either the bedding or other perennial varieties and have a rather exotic appearance. Don't let that fact put you off! This is a plant to show off. It will in time flower up to 120cm, but usually starts flowering from 60 cm as a younger plant. Most of us are familiar with the blue bedding Lobelia. We all know that its seed is the first to be sown each spring and that the seedlings are so small that they are not "singled" for pricking out, but are put in their trays in clusters. Yet are you aware that up on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro there are lobelias that grow 20ft tall, their spires of blue and green flowers rising from great rosettes of leaves of tropical wonder. Or that the name commemorates old Matthias de l'Obel, who came over here from the Low Countries to be physician to James I, and that the family name is associated with the poplar or "abele" tree? We should also know that there is a race of lobelias which, unlike the familiar ground-hugging blue kind, are hardy perennials well worth places in borders of herbaceous plants and shrubs.

Main Features
Type Perennial Hardiness Hardy With Shelter
Flower Colour Red Size (H xW) 120cm
Flowering Season Summer Pot Size 9cm
Foliage Grey\Green Growth Rate Medium Growing
Foliage Type Evergreen Soil PH Neutral
Soil Type Rich but well drained AGM No
Position Full Sun Habit Clump forming
Cultivation Notes
Lobelia tupa is easy to grow in a relatively free draining soil in a sunny sheltered position. Allow plenty of space for this beauty to fully develop.
UsesUse Lobelia tupa as a feature plant in a sunny border, where it’s exotic flowers can be shown off to full effect.

Pruning \ Aftercare
: Remove faded flowers
Perfect Companions
Echinacea paradoxa
Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’