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Lobelia inflata
1887 illustration
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Subfamily: Lobelioideae
Genus: Lobelia
Species: L. inflata
Binomial name
Lobelia inflata

Lobelia inflata (Indian Tobacco) is a species of Lobelia native to eastern North America, from southeastern Canada (Nova Scotia to southeast Ontario) south through the eastern United States to Alabama and west to Kansas.[1]



It is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant growing to 15–100 centimetres (5.9–39 in) tall, with stems covered in tiny hairs. Its leaves are usually about 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long, and are ovate and toothed. It has violet flowers that are tinted yellow on the inside, and usually appear in mid summer and continue to bloom into fall.[2]

Cultivation and uses

Lobelia inflata has a long use as an entheogenic substance. The plant was widely used by the Penobscots and was widely used in the New England even before the time of Samuel Thomson who was credited as discovering it. Indian Tobacco is still used today. The most potent part of the plant is the seed as it contains the most lobeline, the main ingredient which gives the plant its pyschoactive property. It is sold widely in online herbal shops, and is prized among entheogen users. Its taste is reminiscent of real tobacco, acrid and burning, and it promotes the heavier flow of saliva. A common misconception is that when smoked it yields a euphoric "high" like feeling, when it actually produces a more relaxant like effect. It can be used fresh, or dry.

Lobelia inflata is also used by herbalists for treatment of asthma, hence its other nickname, asthma weed. Some make ointments of the plant to use externally.

It is also said that plant material is burned as a natural bug repellent to keep away insects such as mosquitoes.

from its microscopical examination: anomocytic stomata, sclerenchymatous idioblast, very long non-glandular hair with enlarged base and warty cuticle, spherical pollengrain



Propagation is usually accomplished by cuttings or seed. Seeds are sown in containers in mid spring or mid fall. The seeds take about 2 weeks to germinate.



External references

  1. Lobelia inflata - Plants For A Future database report
  2. Indian Tobacco (Lobelia inflata)


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies



Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Campanulaceae
Subfamilia: Lobelioideae
Genus: Lobelia
Species:Lobelia inflata


Lobelia inflata L.

Vernacular name

English: Indian Tobacco
Türkçe: Kızıldereli tütünü


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