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Products > Lobelia laxiflora ssp. angustifolia
 
Lobelia laxiflora ssp. angustifolia - Mexican Lobelia
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Lobelioideae (Lobeliaceae)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Lobelia laxiflora ssp. angustifolia (Mexican Lobelia) - Bushy perennial/ subshrub that branches from the base with reddish stems bearing narrow 2 to 4 inch long green leaves that arise from underground spreading rhizomes, allowing a single plant to typically form a dense groundcover to 2 feet tall by many feet wide but in optimum conditions can get talller. At the tip of each leafy stem are borne the 2 inch long bi-colored flowers, yellow on the inside with red on the outside and with flaring petals so both colors are displayed. In Santa Barbara this plant is nearly always in bloom, with a peak bloom period mid to late summer and usually continuing until first frost. Plant in full coastal sun to part sun or light shade inland in a relatively well-drained soil. Can tolerate areas receiving little irrigation but also grows well in moist soils, where it can prove to be somewhat invasive. It is hardy to about 0 degrees F and useful in USDA Zones 7 and above. A great plant mixed in the meadow, bank planting or large container that is both beautiful and attractive to hummingbirds. Several polymorphic species once segregated from it have been combined into Lobelia laxiflora and the form we have is a narrow leafed plant that was previously called Lobelia angustifolia but is now considered to be Lobelia laxiflora subspecies angustifolia, though some list it as a variety (var. angustifolia). It comes from southern Arizona south into northern Mexico where it grows along streambeds, in forested areas and in canyons from 4000 to 5000 feet. The genus is named for Mathias de L'Obel (latinized to Matthaeus Lobelius) (1538 1616), a Belgian botanist and physician to the royal families of the Netherlands (William the Silent, Prince of Orange) and England (King James I). The specific epithet is from the Latin words 'laxus' meaning "loose" and 'flos' meaning "flower" in reference to the loose open arrangement of the flowers and the etymology of the subspecies is narrow leafed from the Latin 'angustus' meaning "narrow" and 'folium' meaning leaf. Because it is found in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico it is often referred to as Sierra Madre Lobelia and other common names include Mexican Cardinal Flower, Looseflowers Lobelia, and Drooping Lobelia. We have grown this very fine plant since 1995.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Lobelia laxiflora ssp. angustifolia.