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Last September, I got some "dwarf lobelia" from Aquabotanic.

I am now growing some emersed and now I am confused.

This is growing larger than dwarf lobelia, but doesn't look at all like the normal emersed lobelia that I can find pictured on the web.

Any ideas?
http://webfiles.uci.edu/algomez/plants/lobelia.jpg

Thanks
 

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Do the leaves have purple undersides? I bought some from an LFS and it had purple undersides that I was told was the emersed growth. Other than that the shape of the leaves look pretty similar to yours.
 

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Sometime in the early fall, when the days get shorter, the plans should "bolt"---that is, start growing stems with internodes between the leaves. Then they will flower. Then, they may look more like the pictures on the internet.
 

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Tony,

I have some lobelia which looks pretty much like yours. I got some from AB awhile ago, and at the time, he didn't claim that they were the true 'dwarf form'. Then I traded some plants with someone on line who claimed to have the true dwarf form. The one I got on trade was exactly as the one I had bought originally. In reality, I don't think either is the true dwarf. But it's hard to get a good answer from people, imo, as to how to differentiate the dwarf from the standard form. This site http://www.e-aquaria.com/des_lobelia.html is a great reference for the dwarf form.

If anyone out there can tell the difference in size from the std to the dwarf, I'd love to hear it![/url]
 

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As a perennial cardinal flower comes in quite a few hybrids, the one that comes immediately to mind is russian princess, supposedly a dwarf form, maybe 18". I was going to get some from the nursery and try to take cuttings to change to immersed growth.

I don't think lobelia cardinalis is a true aquatic, it's more of a marginal plant. It grows native around here in wetlands. I think any hybrid/specie would be ok in the aquarium since it's not normal for it to grow completely immersed. I wonder if the immersed conditions are arresting it's growth, not stunting, just holding it back. In all the aquarium pictures I've seen of it, it looks like baby plants.

Here's the best picture I found of it's normal growth in the garden.

I love this plant!

edit: add usda plant profile link:
http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/plant_attribute.cgi?symbol=LOCA2
 

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Lobelia cardinalis is a marsh plant. It does indeed have both a submersed form and an emersed one.

I don't know about the "Dwarf" Lobelia that's been floating around of late. Every specimen of the species I've ever kept has been a different size, but they were all relatively similar. I don't think there is really much you can use to differentiate between dwarf and standard forms.
 

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It looks like plain old lobelia cardinalis to me, but there's nothing wrong with that. I don't think there really is a dwarf form out there, but there are lots of different cultivars.
 

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Bert H said:
If anyone out there can tell the difference in size from the std to the dwarf, I'd love to hear it!
I've had the "standard" form grow out of the top of a two-foot deep aquarium. I've never had the "dwarf" form get more than abuot 6 inches tall. The dwarf form can easily be kept to a height of 2-3 inches. The standard form cannot.

I have grown both forms in the same aquarium at the same time. There are two distinctly different forms. That doesn't mean that everyone who is selling or trading something they call "dwaf lobelia" actually has the small form. They may just have small individuals of the standard form. The two forms I have have slightly different leaf shapes. The leaves of the dwarf form are broad at the base -- often forming rounded triangles. Some leaves might even be heart-shaped. The leaves of the standard form are more oval and the insertion is acute. The leaf form of both plants is variable, so this distinction isn't perfect.

I have gobs of the dwarf form now, but only a couple small and sickly stems of the standard form. About two years ago the plants "bolted" -- the stems got leggy and the leaves became more lanceolate. I moved them into three different aquariums but couldn't change their growth habit. So now they are sitting in a dimly lit aquarium where at least they "bolt" slowly.

Roger Miller
 

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Here is a picture of the standard form, which I found along a bike trail last September. Two days after I took the picture, the plant was gone, probably transplanted to someone's garden. This explains why the plant is so rare in the Jackson area that this is the second speciman I have seen in 25 years.
 

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that does look like a lobelia cardinalis plant. i got one in my tank and it is a really slow grower. in the past year it may have only grown 1/2 of an inch.
 
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