Violet, blue, or white.
Flowers: axillary; growing in terminal, leafy racemes. Calyx: tubular; inflated; veined; five-cleft. Corolla: tubular; split down the upper side; the five lobes very regular. Stamens; five; united; the anthers bearded. Pistil: one. Pod: inflated. Leaves: sessile; ovate; hairy. Stem: one to two feet high; erect; branched; hairy.
Unfortunately this lobelia does not shed abroad a very ennobling influence among its companions. Its narcotic properties are well known and have been rather indiscriminately used by the Indians. They chew and smoke the dried leaves, which have a bitter flavour like tobacco. The plant is a poisonous one and has been largely employed as an emetic. It is, in fact, a rather plebeian relative of the cardinal flower.