An attractive, short-trunked, compact rosette of broad, stiff, blue-green, reddish centred leaves, appears from a deep, branching underground rhizome. This extremely pretty and unique spectacle slowly grows in size, until, after several years, an impressive, large, terminal, cone-like inflorescence with recurved bracts shoots upwards, and is finally pollinated by birds. Very rarely seen or offered as viable seed, this amazing plant grows in the alpine zone of the Ruwenzori Mountains in Zaire and Uganda between 3000 and 3500 m, where the extreme climate is usually clear and cold in the mornings, with intense sunshine, and cloudy or foggy in the afternoons with frost at night. Daytime temperatures are usually only a few degrees above freezing, and in a similar way to many bromeliads, the leaf rosette holds a reservoir of water among the tightly fitted leaves, which is key to its survival in this inhospitable habitat. In cultivation, the giant Lobelias are extremely rare, and will do best outside in temperate, highly oceanic climates such as Ireland, New Zealand, southern Chile or the coastal Northwestern of the U.S. Otherwise they make stunning pot plants if slowly potted on until they flower. Viable seed difficult to collect and very, very scarce indeed.
Sow seeds IMMEDIATELY you receive them in gritty compost, at any time of the year, they depend on having several months, sometimes up to a year in cold, damp compost, (NOT DRY IN A FRIDGE) before they will germinate. Keep the seed tray moist in a cold greenhouse or shady corner and do not discard. These fresh seeds can be very slow to germinate but do not use any artificial heat in an attempt to germinate them as it may simply disrupt their germination mechanism causing them to enter even deeper dormancy. Grow on in a spot as cool as possible but with good light. May be best grown in a pot with potting on as it increases in size, keep dry and cool but not deeply-frozen in winter.
Classification:Half hardy perennial
Packet Content:10 (Approx)