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Lobelia is a genus of 365 species of annuals and perennials, many of them native to North America. The perennial varieties are wetland plants that bloom from summer to early fall, attracting pollinators. They are prized by gardeners for their spires of colorful flowers, which open progressively from bottom to top, adding bold color to borders and rain gardens in sun and part-shade. Perennial Lobelia thrive in full sun or partial shade (which they require in the South) and average to damp soil with a slightly acid pH. While plants are short-lived, self-seeding can be encouraged. Annual Lobelias tend to be most familiar as cascading plants with small, boldly colored flowers. They are commonly used as “spillers” in patio pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets. They may subside in the highest heat of summer but often will rally again as temperatures cool.