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Indian Tobacco - Lobelia inflata

Indian Tobacco - Lobelia inflata

Lobelia inflata, otherwise known as Indian Tobacco or by the even less-delightful name of pukeweed, is a Michigan and UP native annual or biannual that readily self-seeds.  In the fall, we sell these plants at a discount as a seed source; they are loaded with the fat seed capsules that give this plant the scientific name "inflata" (inflated). The seeds need light to germinate, so make sure mulch is pulled back in areas where you want the plant to return. This plant makes an excellent living mulch while the other species in your planting come up to size.


It prefers part sun to shade and moist to medium soils and can reach 2.5 feet in height.  Tolerant of clay, sand, and other riverbank soils. Supports  short-tongued bees with tiny lavender flowers and is a moth host plant.  Tiny emerald green bees love this plant. Members of the Lobelia family support at least 6 types of butterflies and moths in the UP, according to the National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder. Makes a good matrix plant to fill in around more showy specimens.


Lobelia inflata has a history as a Native American medicinal herb, but can also be toxic. It is not tobacco and should not be smoked. Plant it as an ornamental for the cute flowers instead.

    PriceFrom $5.50
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