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There are more than 200 species of Lobelia grown around the world, mostly in the temperate and tropical zones.  Some botanists believe the genus should be placed in a separate family, Lobeliaceae.  Lobelias are a large genus of plants belonging to the bell flower family.  The name Lobelia is derived from the sixteenth century Flemish botanist, Matthias de Lobel.  Lobelia flowers are commonly associated with the treatment and cure of lung-related ailments.  Some of these ailments are asthma, bronchitis, coughs, pneumonia, and other upper-respiratory problems. 

Fast becoming popular garden and bedding plants.  Lobelia produces beautifully attractive flowers in beds, large pots, window boxes and hanging baskets.  Being small and tubular shaped, Lobelia's blooms display a variety of colors that range from red and pink to blue, purple, yellow and white.  This plant likes moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter; even thrives in boggy conditions.  This plant requires full sun to full shade.  To promote further growth, the colorful spikes should be removed often.  This plant is self-seeding and should be divided in the fall.