Lobelia aguana

Hundreds of well displayed, exotic, bearded, 2″ flowers jut out on prominent stems up and down the numerous upright stalks almost year round with the heaviest bloom occurring in Summer and Fall, with plenty of blooms continuing thru Winter. Pretty, evergreen, linear foliage. Can be cut back to 2′ tall in Winter to contain growth. Hummingbird heaven!

Lobelia aguana, a shrub collected from the slopes of Vulcán Zunil in Guatemala where it grows between 7,000 and 8,000 feet. It can be found throughout Honduras, Guatemala, and Southern Mexico. This rarely collected plant was introduced to cultivation by the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Lobelia aguana has clusters of two-lipped tubular flowers, a bright strawberry-red upper lip made of two fused petals and a tangy orange-yellow lower lip made of three fused petals. The flowers bloom along the upright stems, poking out between the leaves like smiling bearded faces. The leaves are long and linear, and when paired with the flowers, give the plant a distinctly tropical appearance. Lobelia aguana grows exuberantly in the Bay Area and will mature into a large 5 foot by 5 foot mass within a couple of years.
Like many other lobelias, Lobelia aguana is a wonderful pollinator plant. The long, red tubular flowers with the lower lips provide butterflies a perch to enjoy the nectar—although they have to compete with the hummingbirds who adore the blossoms just as much!

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