Lobelia tupa is one of the most impressive of all species within the lobelia genus. Native to central Chile and Peru it is surprisingly hardy and will even tolerate the milder climates of northern Europe.
The Mapuche Indians of Southern Chile consider it a sacred plant. The latex is used as an abortifacient, and a hallucinogen, while the leaves are dried and smoked as an intoxicant. This would explain the plant's common name of 'Tabaco del Diablo', meaning 'Devil's Tobacco'.
It is an evergreen, woody perennial which can reach around 6 ft in height although they can be as tall as 12 ft in their natural habitat.
Lobelia tupa will require the shelter of a warm sunny wall and will do best in a moist, yet free-draining soil. It will also cope with a semi-shaded position and is also surprising drought tolerant once established.
Overwinter Lobelia tupa can be left in place but with the roots protected with a dry mulch such as gravel or more preferably bark chips. Alternatively it can be lifted and potted on, then overwintered in a cool greenhouse or frame until the following spring. Once the threat of late frosts have passed it can be planted outside once again.
For related articles click onto the following link:
CARDINAL FLOWER - Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria'
Devil's Tobacco - Lobelia tupa
HOW TO GROW LOBELIA CARDINALIS 'QUEEN VICTORIA' FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW LOBELIA FROM SEED
How to Grow Lobelia tupa
How to Grow Lobelia tupa from Seed
How to Grow Monkshood - Aconitum napellus
THE HIMALAYAN MINT - Colquhounia coccinea
MONKSHOOD - Aconitum napellus
THE ORCHID PRIMULA - Primula vialii
WHAT IS LOBELIA?