Lobelia tupa

tabaco del Diablo, devil’s tobacco

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This amazing perennial is unlike any other lobelia you may have grown. A robust clump of broad strappy leaves gives way to tall flowers spikes reaching 6 to 8 feet tall with clusters of brilliant red, tropical looking flowers. The flowers bloom in mid to late summer and open over a long period of time.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 10

Flower Color: red

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: flowers from mid to late summer

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

Resistant to: aphids, rabbits, slug, snail

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: blue, cream, purple

Great Color Partners: cream, orange, silver, yellow

Culture Notes
This deciduous perennial needs full sun to thrive. It prefers a sandy soil, but any well-drained soil will suffice. Avoid heavy clay and winter wet locations. Once the flowers are finished the seed can be allowed to ripen. It can gently reseed if the conditions are right. If no seed is desired the seed heads can be cut off. Cut to the ground once the foliage begins to fade in autumn.
Geek Notes
Native to central Chile from Valparaíso south to Los Lagos regions. GPP supporter and gardening author Val Easton wrote about Lobelia tupa in 2011: http://www.valeaston.com/lobelia-tupa/