Lobelia sp. in Black Hill, Morialta and Horsnell Gully
Conservation Parks


Lobelia gibbosa
Lobelia gibbosa
Black Hill CP

Lobelia sp.

Named after the Matthias de Lobel, Flemish botanist 1538 to 1616. Matthias de Lobel was physician to William the Silent, Prince of Orange and after moving to England became botanist to James I.

These plants have quite a distinctive flower shape and are readily recognised. There are over 300 species around the world, about 20 species native to Australia, with our Parks home to three species. There is another species, Lobelia alata which grows in the Adelaide region, but so far, is not found on the plant lists for the Parks.

Lobelia anceps
Lobelia anceps
4 December 2013, Morialta CP

Lobelia anceps (previously L. alata): the angled lobelia grows in wetter areas. A soft, open, small herbacious plant, flowering November to May. The plant can sucker from stems that are in contact with the ground.

Anceps is from Latin anceps, two headed or two edged, referring to the two-lipped character of the flowers.

Propagation is from seed which requires an after ripening period of about 2 months storage in the dark. Germination should occur in 7-14 days. Cuttings of firm, current seasons growth may also successful.

Native to South Australia; Western Australia.; Queensland; New South Wales.; Victoria; Tasmania. also New Zealand; South Africa; Chile.

Lobelia gibbosa
Lobelia gibbosa
30 December 2008, Black Hill CP

Lobelia gibbosa: the tall lobelia or false orchid. The name means humped or swollen. It grows between 15 and 40cm tall. The flowers although small (only about a centimetre long), are usually bright blue (sometimes purplish-blue or even white), stand out like tiny beacons against the grey-green of the summer bush-land. The flowers are held on slender stemms, are seen in early summer, by which time the leaves have usually shrivelled up and are insignificant.

Fire Response
The main way a Lobelia gibbosa survives is through its seeds. While the seeds are long lived, they all germinate with disturbance. A fire may kill the seeds stored in the soil, but there is moderate confidence that a population will survive a fire event, although a low chance of becoming established in a new area.

Lobelia gibbosa
Lobelia gibbosa
30 December 2008, Black Hill CP

Lobelia rhombifolia, or tufted lobelia, the name is a reference to the shape of the leaves. It is more branched than the tall lobenia, and does not stand up as straight. While the flowers are about the same size, the leaves are wider than the tall lobelia.

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Return to Horsnell Gully plant page 1

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Updated 5 December 2013
Sources: e-Flora of SA, Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants, Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

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