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Lobelia siphiliticaLobelia siphilitica
Great Blue Lobelia
Magickally, this Venus herb is good for love charms. Meskwaki Indians chopped the roots up fine and fed them to feuding couples and also used them generally in love medicine, although since this plant has a tendency to cause vomiting, this must have been a very small amount indeed! But this plant also played a part in ritual purification for some Native Americans. That makes it a good candidate for drying and being made into a purifying smudge, and as a Venus plant, it would also be very helpful against magickal or pyschic attack. Top

Infusions of this herb were once infrequently used to treat heart failure ("dropsy"). When combined with several herbs in a rather complicated treatment, the fresh root of this plant was a treatment for syphillis and gonorrhea, which is how it got the botanical moniker "siphilitica." It is a diuretic and diaphoretic but also causes vomiting. Cherokee made a poultice of the crushed leaves and applied it for headache as well as hard-to-heal sores. They also drank a tea of it for worms, colds, rheumatism, fevers, and croup. the Iroquois drank an infusion of the crushed leaves as protection against negative magick, especially binding types. This was never a popular medicinal herb amongst European Americans except in homeopathy. It is considered poisonous. Top

LobeliaGreat Blue Lobelia is easier to grow than the red-flowered type (cardinal flower) and can even be grown in pots. Usually it will just form a rosette of leaves the first year and bloom the second year, but it can bloom first year from seeds if you get an early start. The flowers (usually blue, blue/white, white, or lavender) appear July-September and have two upper "ears" and three lower "teeth." Its shape looks like the face of a Scottie dog. Bumblebees love this flower, and it will also attract hummingbirds and butterflies. This native of eastern North America likes to grow in rich soil - late in the season I see this growing in the open hardwood forests in upstate New York, especially close to paths. It's one of my favorite woodland flowers. Showing its affinity for Water generally, this magick herb likes to grow around ponds, moist woodlands and slopes, wet meadows, alongside streams, and bogs. It makes a wonderful cottage garden plant. It likes full sun up north to partial shade in warmer areas (Florida is too hot for it). This plant is also known as blue cardinal flower, great lobelia, big blue lobelia, and high lobelia. Top

How to grow Great Blue Lobelia. Surface sow, barely covering, and keep moist but not sopping wet. Use light misting or bottom water so seeds don't get washed away, or cover with plastic to hold the humidity in. Germination takes anywhere from 10 to 30 days at 60-65F/15-18C. This seed won't germinate if it's too warm (over 75F). Transplant to rich, moist soil and full sun up north to partial shade in hot areas (a site with morning sun is good). Space space 1-2 ft/30-60 cm apart or grow in pots. It gets up to 3.5ft/1 m tall. Great blue lobelia is a perennial in zones 4-9 (down to -30F/-34C) . To keep the plant healthy, divide clumps in spring. It can also self-seed where it's happy but isn't generally invasive. Top


Lobelia siphilitica
Great Blue Lobelia
1000 seeds $3.75

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Elemental Magic (Water)
Love Magic
Protection Spells
Venus Herb

2006, 2018 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission