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Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed, Asthma Weed, Gagroot, Vomitwort, Bladderpod, Eyebright

Lobelia inflata

Family: Campanulaceae (kam-pan-yew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lobelia (low-BEE-lee-a) (Info)
Species: inflata (in-FLAY-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Light Blue

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Trinity, Alabama

Falmouth, Maine

Southborough, Massachusetts

Erie, Michigan

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Leesburg, Virginia

Vienna, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 30, 2008, marwood0 from Golden, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Keep soil moist for seeds. Plant outside in the fall, otherwise two months of cold damp storage (refrigerated in damp sand) before planting is normally required to break the dormancy of these seeds, but one month may work. Seeds are super small and need light to break dormancy and germinate. For indoors, sprinkle stratification treated seeds in a container (pot or flat) and water from the bottom. Seed should not be covered after sowing. For outdoor beds, sow cold stored seeds on level soil. Cover with a single layer of burlap or cotton sheet and dont let soil dry out until seedlings are established. Remove cover after germination. Shading with a window screen above them the first season will help prevent drying.


On Jul 30, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Indigenous to North America, found in pastures, meadows and cultivated fields of eastern US as far west as Arkansas and Nebraska.


On Aug 10, 2001, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Native Americans have been known to use dried lobelia leaves for smoking for medicinal purposes including aid in asthma, bronchitis, sore throats and coughs. It has been coined as "Indian Tobacco"

Medicinal Use: The plant's properties are known to help induce vomiting. It is an anti-spasmodic, expectorant and a respiratory stimulant. WARNING: The lobelia plant has alkaloids and because of this it can be toxic.