Kalm’s lobelia

(Lobelia kalmii)

Conservation Status
Kalm’s lobelia
Photo by Dan W. Andree
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
  Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Kalm’s lobelia is a 4 to 16 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a taproot and fibrous roots.

The stems are erect, slender, hairless, and sometimes branched.

Basal leaves are alternate, often deciduous, spatula-shaped, to 13 16 long, to ¼ wide, and sometimes under water. They are narrowed at the base to a short leaf stalk. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless.

There are 4 to 15 stem leaves. Lower stem leaves are alternate and similar to basal leaves. Middle and upper stem leaves are stalkless and linear. They are held erect. The margins are untoothed, except on very robust plants.

The inflorescence is a loose, elongated, unbranched cluster (raceme) at the end of the stem and branches. The flowers are on ascending, to ½ long stalks (pedicels). The stalks have a single leaf-like, linear, up to long bract at the base and a pair of minute, awl-shaped, secondary bracts (bracteoles) at or above the middle. The pedicels are not as long as the subtending bracts.

Each flower is ¼ to ½ long. At the base there are 5 green sepals (calyx) that are fused at their base into a top-shaped tube, then separated into 5 narrowly lance-shaped lobes. The calyx lobes are longer than the calyx tube.

There are 5 mostly blue petals fused at their base into a corolla tube, then separated into an upper and lower lip with spreading lobes. The lower lip is large, 3-lobed, and mostly blue with white or white and yellow forming an “eye” near the center. The upper lip is much smaller, blue, and split nearly to the base into 2 spreading lobes. There are 5 stamens. The filaments are fused from just above the base into a tube surrounding the style. The anthers are fused into a ring around the style. The lower 2 anthers are shorter than the others and are bearded at the tip. The style and filament tube protrudes from between the 2 lobes of the upper lip and bends downward near the tip. The flowers are not fragrant.

The fruit is a capsule.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4 to 16

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Blue to white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Water lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna) is an unbranched aquatic plant requiring standing water. Basal leaves are hollow, fleshy tubes. Stem leaves are minute. It is found only in the northeast corner of the state.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet. Calcareous swamps, fens, bogs, shores, meadows, and ditches. Full sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to September

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

 
  1/8/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  
 

Family

Campanulaceae (bellflower)  
  Subfamily Lobelioideae  
 

Genus

Lobelia (Lobelia)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Lobelia kalmii var. strictiflora

Lobelia strictiflora

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

brook lobelia

Kalm’s lobelia

Ontario lobelia

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Bracteole

A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it; bractlet.

 

Calcareous

Alkaline; rich in limestone; containing a high proportion of calcium carbonate.

 

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Dan W. Andree
       

I think this is a Kalm's Lobelia...

very small blossoms. They were growing in kind of a damp area on a Wildlife Management Area in Norman co. Mn. 9-7-19.

  Kalm’s lobelia    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Inflorescence

  Kalm’s lobelia    
       

 

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Dan W. Andree
9/7/2019

Location: a Wildlife Management Area in Norman Co. MN

I think this is a Kalm's Lobelia...very small blossoms. They were growing in kind of a damp area on a Wildlife Management Area in Norman co. Mn. 9-7-19.

Kalm’s lobelia


     
     
 
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