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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.  The information provided on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our nursery's library, from what we have found about it on reliable online sources, as well as from observations in our nursery of crops of this plant as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Lobelia laxiflora ssp. angustifolia.