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Family Lobeliaceae

Synonyms: Lobeliaceae APNI*

Description: Annual or perennial herbs, usually with a milky latex.

Leaves alternate, opposite or sometimes whorled, sometimes basal; simple; stipules absent.

Inflorescence cymose, or raceme-like, or flowers solitary in axils of leaf-like bracts or in clusters. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, bisexual or unisexual and then plants dioecious, usually 5-merous, frequently protandrous. Hypanthium not extended above the inferior ovary. Sepals usually 5, persistent in fruit. Corolla campanulate or rotate, usually 5-lobed, or 1- or 2-lipped, often split on upper surface. Stamens usually 5, free or joined to the corolla basally; anthers and filaments joined in ta tube around the flower; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing and wilting before the flower opens, dehiscence introrse by longitudinal slits; filaments usually expanded and ciliate, persistent in open flowers. Ovary usually inferior, usually 2–5-locular with axile placentation, [sometimes 1-locular with parietal placentation], ovules numerous; style simple, upper part bearing shed pollen, entire or with stigmatic lobes equal in number to the loculi, opening when pollen mostly gone.

Fruit a capsule, dehiscent or somewhat fleshy and indehiscent; seeds numerous.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 79 genera, 1900 species, mostly in temperate regions. Australia: 6 genera, 89 species, all States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Campanulaceae, Order: Asterales)

Many species are grown as ornamentals, notably the bellflowers Campanula. The family Lobeliaeace is now included under Campanulaceae.

Text by P. J. Smith and B. Wiecek; updated L. Murray (Sep 2018).
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW Vol 3

 Key to the genera 
1Corolla tube slit to near base2
Corolla tube not slit to near base, notched4
2Corolla purpleMonopsis
Corolla blue, white or rarely pink
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3Fruit dehiscent, capsule opening by 2 loculicidal valves; erect or ascending herbs, few to multi-stemmed at the base, rarely rooting at nodes (Lobelia alata); corolla 2-lipped, with usually one petal larger than the othersLobelia
Fruit indehiscent or bursting irregularly below the corolla lobes, often succulent; prostrate herbs, rooting at the nodes, with petals more or less the same size
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4Fruit dehiscent; flowers mostly more than 12 mm long (4–12 mm long in Isotoma fluviatilis); apex of anterior anthers with 1 or 2 large bristles; widespread speciesIsotoma
Fruit indehiscent; flowers 4–6 mm long; apex of anterior anthers with 1 large bristles; rare species, confined to the Sydney area
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