Mystery plant 058

This native plant can be found in central and eastern portions of North America.  When you can identify it, please leave its common name, scientific name and a story of any personal connection you may have with this plant — in a comment below.


Young plant


Mature plant beginning to bloom


Middle and upper portion of plant showing leaf arrangement, stem and inflorescence


Leaves and flower at node


Side view of flower


Close view of flower


Developing seed pods


Mature seed pods and dying plant


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images):  Indian tobacco (Lobelia inflata)

Also, read the blog post and watch the plant portrait video for Indian tobacco (Lobelia inflata).

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5 Responses to Mystery plant 058

  1. Sara says:

    Hi, I just found your website (you have by far the best description of how to tell mugwort from ragweed I’ve seen).

    This looks like Indian Tobacco, Lobelia inflata, to me, or some close relative.

    Wonderful blog!

  2. kerry says:

    I agree with Sara, Indian Tobacco.

  3. coleen s. says:

    Yep, Indian Tobacco, Lobelia inflata. I have only seen it in my garden when I grow if from seed (Horizon herbs), but I have heard that in the wild it is much smaller, like less than 12″ tall. In the garden it gets closer to 24″ tall. Ate a leaf once, and almost puked.

  4. Angelyn says:

    Indeed, this is Indian tobacco (Lobelia inflata). Most of the plants growing near me are up to 18 inches tall, although this year I found some which are at least two feet tall. I appreciate the small, beautiful flower along with its puffy, “inflated” seed pod.

  5. Sandy says:

    Nice to know what this is. I pull it and leave the Lobelia siphilitica that has seeded in nearby and around the garden. Early in the season it can be tricky to tell the two plants apart though!

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