Rare and unique, this palm-like giant Lobelia forms a large rosette of purplish-green, large, narrow, hairy leaves, and a tall sizeable woody trunk. Eventually a giant flower spike arises protected by masses of long, silvery hairy bracts, and finally countless deep blue flowers open. Similar in stature to a giant echium (which see), it can grow up to 6 metres in total. Rare even in the wild, where it is pollinated by birds, it lives in the high-elevation bogs of the alpine zone, between 3700 and 4300 m (12100 and 14100 ft) and is native to the high Rwenzori Mountains of tropical Eastern Africa from Uganda to Rwanda which are also known as the "Mountains of the Moon". It is technically hardy, requiring a well drained location, but it can be grown in temperate areas provided the drainage is perfect. It will tolerate frost, snow and heavy rain (all of which occur on the slopes of the volcanic areas where it grows naturally), and it prefers a sunny open location with lots of light. It can also make an unforgettable sight in a large pot in a well drained soil. This rare and desirable plant can only be grown from seed which is extremely difficult to source and collect.
Sow seeds IMMEDIATELY you receive them, at any time of the year, they depend on having several months 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. These fresh seeds can be very slow to germinate. Do not use any artificial heat in an attempt to germinate them as it may cause them to enter even deeper dormancy.
Common name:GIANT LOBELIA
Classification:Half hardy perennial, Hardy perennial