Summer flowers are very welcome for the small dots of colour they provide among dry grass and bracken. These Poison Lobelia flowers were growing right on the edge of the dam in sandy, moist soil. While I have photographed Poison Lobelia in previous years, I have just realised they were not included in the species list for our property. Now they are!
According to the EcoLinc website, Poison Lobelia is a member of the Bluebell family of plants. Each plant has both male and female flowers. The VicVeg website says the plant is “toxic to or avoided by’ animals including sheep, cattle, kangaroos, possums and rabbits. The plant grows in seasonally wet ground including near swamps, drains – and obviously dams!
In Flora of the Otway Plains and Ranges 2, Enid Mayfield states the plants flower between September and May. After flowering, an ovoid seed capsule is produced.
While there are other species of native Lobelia, I think this is the only one we have growing here. We do have Swamp Isotome, which also belongs to the Bluebell family and is a similar shape.