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Lobelia cardinalis is a North American native wildflower. Grows around bogs,streams, ponds. I've got it growing around my natural pond.

I strongly suspect that the dwarf LC in the aquarium trade is nothing more than the pure wild strain of Lobelia. I have several cultivars and the wild one is a considerably smaller plant than the ones people have been messing with. Nothing like that color red when it's blooming! Unfortunately the brilliant red flower is also it's downfall. People dig it up and try to grow it in their gardens and more often than not fail. Needs moisture, can't stand being mulched.

I haven't tried it in my tank. Really much prettier out in the bog.
 

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If it's any help Gomer's plant looks like my pure wild one. The red leafed one looks more like some of the man manipulated cultivars I have.

The wild one is a petite plant. Easily overwhelmed in the garden. It's grown real big for itself when the bloom stalk reaches 18 inches here. The rosette rarely exceeds 4 or 5 inches. Mine was collected from an area that was about to become a boat ramp.

I've got store bought cultivars around the pond that go from anywhere from 18 inches to nearly chest high. Any of these plants may be bigger or smaller in other regions. I'm in a cool, short growing season area so plants tend to know they don't have much time and tend to be a tad smaller at maturity than most catalogs state.

There are tons of cultivars and inter species crosses out there. It's a pretty plant and has been played with lots.

Here are just a few:
http://www.fsperennials.co.uk/catalogue/pl_lobelia.htm

I thought about plunking one in the tank but really it's so lovely where it is I'm going to leave them. Maybe in the spring when I've got more of the luxury of time. Plants are all going to sleep now for the winter.
 
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