Family:     Campanulaceae (bellflower family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     10-60 cm (4-24 in)

Blooming: July-Sept.


Brook Lobelia

Lobelia kalmii L.

Herbaceous perennial


Stem: is is usually hairless and erect with a few slender branches if any.  It has a milky sap if broken.

Flowers: blue to purple with a white center.  The two upper lobes of the flower are smaller than the three lower lobes.  The five petals are fused at the base and spread out halfway into the flower.

Leaves: leaves at the bottom of the plant (basal) are spoon shaped and covered with hair.  These leaves are usually gone by the time brook lobelia flowers.  The leaves up the stem are alternate and attach directly to the stem.  These leaves are very narrow measuring no more than 3 mm (0.12 in) wide.


 Comments: The lobelia flowers are actually upside down or inverted.  The three bottom lobes are actually the upper lobes and vice versa.  The linear, narrow leaves immediately separate brook lobelia from the other lobelia species found in northwest Indiana.

Etymology: The name Lobelia comes from a 16th century botanist Mathias de Lobel. The epithet name, kalmii, is named after the Linnaeus minion and botanist Pehr Kalm.  


all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native
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The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

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