Definition of lobelia
1 : any of a genus (Lobelia of the family Lobeliaceae, the lobelia family) of widely cultivated plants having terminal clusters of showy lipped flowers
2 : the leaves and tops of Indian tobacco
Origin and Etymology of lobelia
New Latin, from Matthias de Lobel †1616 Flemish botanist
First Known Use: 1739
Medical Definition of lobelia
1 capitalized : any of a genus (Lobelia of the family Lobeliaceae, the lobelia family) of widely distributed herbaceous plants (as Indian tobacco)
2: the leaves and tops of Indian tobacco used especially formerly as an expectorant and antispasmodic
Biographical Note for lobelia
Mathias de (1538–1616), Flemish botanist. L'Obel ranks among the great botanists who preceded Linnaeus. In 1570 he published a work describing more than 1200 plants. He classified plants according to leaf structure, and he apparently tried to incorporate into his classification concepts of genus and family. The genus Lobelia was named in his honor in 1702 by the French botanist Charles Plumier (1646–1704).
Learn More about lobelia
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lobelia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).