One to two feet high. Stem. - Branching from the root. Leaves. - Alternate, ovate, or oblong, somewhat toothed. Flowers. - Blue or purple, small, growing in a loose raceme, resembling in structure those of the great lobelia. Pod. - Much inflated.
Plate XCVI. Indian Tobacco - L. inflata
During the summer we note in the dry, open fields the blue racemes of the Indian tobacco, and in the later year the inflated pods which give it its specific name. The plant is said to be poisonous if taken internally, and yields a "quack-medicine" of some notoriety. The Indians smoked its dried leaves, which impart to the tongue a peculiar tobacco-like sensation.
There are other species of lobelia which may be distinguished by their narrower leaves and uninflated pods, and by their choice of moist localities.