Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Lobelia aberdarica - Giant African Lobelia

Lobelia aberdarica - the Giant African Lobelia - is a spectacular Lobelia that grows over 6 feet tall, with a towering flower spike that demands attention!  Even when not in bloom, its attractive foliage provides appeal in the garden.  The plant comes from cool mountains of Kenya and Uganda, and is untested in warm growing conditions.  I don't know any other source for fresh seeds.

Lobelia aberdarica - Giant African Lobelia

Lobelia aberdarica forms an attractive rosette of glossy leaves that have a white stripe down the center.  The plant multiplies with numerous offsets, eventually forming a sizeable colony.  In summer, the imposing flower stalk rises above the foliage, covered with dozens of light mauve flowers.  The plant creates a liquid substance between each flower, which according to botanists, reportedly protects against nightly freezes in the African mountains.

Lobelia aberdarica - Giant African Lobelia

The Giant Lobelia comes from a climate that is mild to cool, with nights that hover around freezing.  I have no information on its climate tolerances, but it's possible that it might not thrive in areas that regularly get above 85 degrees F (29C), especially if nights are warm.  Despite being able to handle a light frost, i suspect that it cannot handle colder than about 25 F (-4C) without being damaged.  The plant grows in swampy meadows in the wild, but it adapts to drier soil and may be grown in a pot.  A good soil mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse sand.  Sunny conditions are preferred, but some afternoon shade may be needed in warmer climates.

Lobelia aberdarica - Giant African Lobelia

Check availability

 

Germination tips for this plant

 

Photo 1 courtesy of Stan Shebs, photo 3 by Jason B.

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2017 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted