Lobelia species and cultivars colour and bees
Some Lobelia species and cultivars are well suited to Water Gardens. Not only do they bring colour to the pond and their surroundings in the summer months, but they also attract bees and other pollinating insects.
Also known as ‘Lobelia Queen Victoria’, this popular plant seems to have appeared in every single book on Water Gardening over the last 50 years and in my opinion, rightly so. With its unusual burgundy red leaves which appear during the summer months, it puts on a show of bright crimson red flowers that will grow to a height of 90cm attracting many species of bees. Lobelia Cardinalis grows best in very shallow margins 0-2cm in depth and will also grow happily in bog-gardens and or moist perennial borders.
This particular species is wild. Lobelia Sessifolia has beautiful blue/purple flowers and will thrive in any very shallow water and boggy ground and will grow to a height of 60 cm.
Both of these colourful cultivars have such vivid electrifying colours that they almost glow. They have no problem attracting bees which come to collect the pollen from their flower heads to transport it back to their hives on their legs. Both these captivating plants look great when planted in moist perennial borders and will also tone in nicely in areas of other marginal planting and round the water’s edge. Both of these cultivars will grow to about 90 cm in height
This is by far my favourite of all the water garden Lobelias. Lobelia Chinesis is certainly unique as it takes on a whole different growing habit from the others. It’s a creeper by nature, with its small, delicate oval leaves and small pink Orchid-like flowers; it makes an excellent ground cover plant for the edge of ponds, streams, and rockeries. This plant has proved so popular over the years that it has even been featured in many RHS show gardens.