How to Identify a Lobelia

Overview

When determining how to identify a lobelia, take into account that some particular details set this annual flowering plant apart from others. Consider plant characteristics such as flower color, foliage appearance, height and surrounding environment. Since lobelias (Lobelia erinus) are recognizable plants with distinct features, identifying those traits will help you more deftly identify a lobelia with certainty.

Step 1

Determine plant height and spread. Lobelias grow from 3 to 10 inches tall and 1 to 2 feet wide, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service. A trailing annual, lobelia forms dense clumps, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Step 2

Look for flowers. Lobelia plants display bright blue flowers that many times have a white or yellow-hued center, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Some cultivars display flowers in violet, pink, white or purple. Lobelia's five-petaled flowers measure approximately one-half to three-quarters of an inch in length. Two petals make up the top of the flower and three larger petals constitute the bottom, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Step 3

Observe foliage when trying to identify a lobelia plant. Lobelia plants display simple green, linear leaves on thin stems, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Step 4

Pay attention to the environment of the lobelia plant. Lobelias require full sunlight to partial shade for healthy growth; a lobelia will not likely be found in a heavily shaded area. Lobelia plants prefer cool climates, rich, well-drained soil and a good deal of moisture, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Lobelia erinus; Edward F. Gilman and Terese Howe
  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Plant of the Week, Edging Lobelia
Keywords: identify lobelia plant, identify lobelia flower, lobelia plant display

About this Author

Tarah Damask's writing career, beginning in 2003, includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum, and articles for eHow. She has a love for words and is an avid observer. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.