Lobelia tupa (Dortmanna tupa, L. bicalcarata, L. mucronata) | Devils Tobacco
Lobelia plants are summer bedding classic perennials, typically suited for baskets and containers, as well as borders. They are easy to grow and flower reliably from the end of the spring frosts right through to the start of the autumn frosts.
Commonly known as Devils Tobacco (tabaco del diablo) or Trupa, Lobelia Tupa is not your average Lobelia garden plant. It’s an exotic Chilean beauty with large, felted grey-green leaves and plumes of exotic-looking curved, dark-red flowers. This plant is an absolute hummingbird magnet while its in bloom from June through September. Comes back bigger and stronger every year.
Most commonly found in wooded slopes in the open and amongst shrubs. Grows best in dry soil and full sun.
It’s considered a sacred plant in parts of its native region of the high Andes of Chile where the Mapuche Indians use to smoke the dried leaves for their narcotic effects. Whether they are truly hallucinogenic has not yet been established. Be warned, the entire plant is poisonous, as it contains the alkaloid lobeline, which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine. Even smelling this plant has been known to cause sickness. Deer resistant.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 4-6 ft
Mature width: 3-4 ft
Hardiness zones: 7-10