Lobelia ( /lɵˈbiːliə/) is a genus of flowering plant comprising 360–400 species, with a subcosmopolitan distribution primarily in tropical to warm temperate regions of the world, a few species extending into cooler temperate regions. English names include lobelia, asthma weed, barfweed, Indian tobacco, heaveleaf, pukeweed, retchwort, fool's bane, and vomitwort.
Some botanists place the genus and its relatives in the separate family Lobeliaceae, others as a subfamily Lobelioideae within the Campanulaceae. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group did not make a firm decision on this, listing the genus under both families.
Lobelia is probably the base form from which many other lobelioid genera are derived; it is therefore highly paraphyletic and not a good genus. For example, the Hawaiian species (see Hawaiian lobelioids) originated from a single introduction to Hawaii 15 million years ago, probably from an Asian Lobelia in Lobelia subg. Tupa. However, the group has not yet been studied adequately to rearrange the classification.
Lobelia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Setaceous Hebrew Character.
The genus is named after the Belgian botanist Matthias de Lobel (1538–1616).
Mexican spurred lobelias
About eleven species native to Mexico and Central America have spurs on the flowers. These spurred lobelias appear to form a monophyletic group. Most have been classified in the genera Heterotoma (or sometimes Calcaratolobelia). However, since their closest relatives, such as Lobelia anatina, are in Lobelia, Koopman and Ayers classify them in Lobelia.
- Lobelia aurita (Heterotoma aurita). One of the most common understory plants in the Sierra de la Laguna pine-oak forests.
- Lobelia calcarata (Heterotoma lobelioides or Lobelia lobelioides)
- Lobelia cordifolia (Heterotoma cordifolia)
- Lobelia flexuosa (Heterotoma flexuosa)
- Lobelia mcvaughii
- Lobelia volcanica (Heterotoma tenella)
Formerly placed here
- Apteria aphylla (Nutt.) Barnhart ex Small (as L. aphylla Nutt.)
- Centropogon cornutus (L.) Druce (as L. cornuta L. or L. surinamensis L.)
- Cyanea angustifolia (Cham.) Hillebr. (as L. angustifolia Cham.)
- Cyanea calycina (Cham.) Lammers (as L. calycina Cham.)
- Cyanea crispa (Gaudich.) Lammers et al. (as L. crispa (Gaudich.) Endl.)
- Cyanea pinnatifida (Cham.) E. Wimm. (as L. pinnatifida Cham.)
- Cyanea superba (Cham.) A.Gray (as L. superba Cham.)
- Hippobroma longiflora (L.) G.Don (as L. longiflora L.)
- Mazus pumilus (Burm.f.) Steenis (as L. pumila Burm.f.)
- Pratia angulata (G.Forst.) Hook.f. (as L. angulata G.Forst.)
- Pratia concolor (R.Br.) Druce (as L. concolor R.Br.)
- Pratia montana (Reinw. ex Blume) Hassk. (as L. montana Reinw. ex Blume)
- Pratia nummularia (Lam.) A.Braun & Asch. (as L. begoniifolia Wall.)
Cultivation and uses
Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants in gardens. These include Lobelia cardinalis (syn. Lobelia fulgens: cardinal flower or Indian pink), Lobelia siphilitica (blue lobelia), and Lobelia erinus, as well as some hybrids. Note Lobelia x speciosa refers to a hybrid derived from Lobelia fulgens, L. cardinalis & L. siphilitica. The term "fan hybrids" is also used. The following varieties have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-
- 'Fan Tiefrot'
- 'Fan Zinnoberrosa'
- 'Kompliment Scharlach'
Lobelia erinus is a South African annual plant that includes many cultivated selections in a wide variety of colours. They are grown in beds, large pots, window boxes and in hanging baskets. The plants are most often grown away from sunny hot southern exposures (northern exposures in the southern hemisphere) in soils that are moisture retentive.
In the Victorian language of flowers, the lobelia symbolizes malevolence and ill will.
Native Americans used lobelia to treat respiratory and muscle disorders, and as a purgative. The species used most commonly in modern herbalism is Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco). However, there are adverse effects that limit the use of lobelia.
Lobelia has been used as "asthmador" in Appalachian folk medicine
Two species, L. siphilitica and L. cardinalis, were once considered a cure for syphilis.
Herbalist Samuel Thomson popularized medicinal use of lobelia in the United States in the early 19th century, as well as other medicinal plants like goldenseal.
One species, Lobelia chinensis (called bàn biān lián, 半边莲 in Chinese), is used as one of the fifty fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
Several studies show that lobelia is ineffective in helping people to quit smoking.
Extracts of Lobelia inflata contain lobeline, which showed positive effects in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tumor cells in vitro. Furthermore, lobeline can be modified to lobelane which decreased methamphetamine self-administration in rats. It therefore opens a perspective in methamphetamine dependency treatment.
Because of its similarity to nicotine, the internal use of lobelia may be dangerous to susceptible populations, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with cardiac disease. Excessive use will cause nausea and vomiting. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women and is best administered by a practitioner qualified in its use. It also has a chemical known as Lobellicyonycin, which may cause dizziness.
- Media related to Lobelia at Wikimedia Commons
- Data related to Lobelia at Wikispecies
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- ^ Ma Y, Wink M (Sep 2008). "Lobeline, a piperidine alkaloid from Lobelia can reverse P-gp dependent multidrug resistance in tumor cells". Phytomedicine 15 (9): 754–8. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2007.11.028. PMID 18222670.
- ^ Neugebauer NM, Harrod SB, Stairs DJ, Crooks PA, Dwoskin LP, Bardo MT (Sep 2007). "Lobelane decreases methamphetamine self-administration in rats". Eur J Pharmacol. 571 (1): 33–8. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.06.003. PMC 2104779. PMID 17612524. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2104779/.
- ^ Eine explosive Droge : Textarchiv : Berliner Zeitung Archiv
- ^ Lobelia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- ^ Lobelia, drugs.com
Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L., Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 0-89672-614-2.