Synonyms: Hypsela APNI*
Description: Annual or perennial herbs usually glabrous; stems erect and mostly few-branched or prostrate, monoecious [or dioecious], often with milky sap, usually with a tap root, rarely with adventitious roots.
Leaves alternate, cauline leaves sometimes reduced to bracts, margins toothed or rarely lobed or entire.
Inflorescence terminal and cymose or raceme-like or flowers solitary, with 1–3 leaf-like or reduced bracts or bracteoles. Flowers unisexual. Calyx shortly tubular, lobed. Corolla tube split almost to base on upper side, 2-lipped, with the upper lip of 2 erect or recurved often much shorter lobes, and the lower one of 3 spreading lobes. Stamens fused to corolla at base; filaments sometimes splitting with age; 3 upper anthers slightly longer and with or without hairs, the 2 lower ones shorter with or without apical hairs. Ovary inferior, 2-locular; stigma 2-lobed.
Fruit a capsule dehiscing mainly loculicidally, 2-valved.
Distribution and occurrence: World: >300 species, cosmopolitan, especially tropical & subtropical regions of North America, southern Africa & Australia. Australia: c. 20 species (native), all States.
Text by B. Wiecek
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Flowers at the tip of the shoot in a raceme-like arrangement, subtended by bracts or very reduced leaves||2|
|1||Flowers solitary in the axils of leaves (but leaves often reducing in size towards the tips of stems in L. anceps)||6|
|2||Stems decumbent, flowering shoots ascending; leaves ovate, base of lamina truncate to cordate||Lobelia trigonocaulis|
|Stems erect or ascending; leaves oblanceolate to linear-elliptic, sessile, subsessile or tapering to the base|
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|3||Seeds strongly 3-angled, smooth and shiny||4|
|Seeds not 3-angled, surface very faintly ridged or reticulate|
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|4||Capsule 7–15 mm long; upper corolla lobes recurved, glabrous||Lobelia simplicicaulis|
|Capsule 3.5–4 mm long; upper corolla lobes incurved and pilose|
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|5||Lower leaves with margins usually entire, rarely with a few narrow teeth; seeds irregularly angular, reticulate||Lobelia gibbosa|
|Lower leaves ovate, margins broadly lobed; seeds ellipsoidal, very faintly ridged to almost smooth|
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|6||Young stems usually with a narrow wing 0.2–1.1 mm wide; capsule ± cylindrical, 8–12.5 mm long, 2–2.5 mm wide||Lobelia anceps|
|Stems sometimes ridged but not distinctly winged; capsule ellipsoid to obovoid or obconical, = 7 mm long|
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|7||Pedicels 1–5(–7) mm long; leaves crowded||Lobelia darlingensis|
|Pedicels (8–)10–60(–70) mm long; leaves ± well spaced|
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|8||Lamina usually broadly ovate, margins toothed, base rounded; petiole distinct||Lobelia membranacea|
|Lamina linear to narrow-elliptical or elliptical, tapering to an indistinct petiole|
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|9||Pedicels (8–)10–30 mm long; plants with spreading hairs||Lobelia pratioides|
|Pedicels 35–70 mm long; plants glabrous|
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