lo·​be·​lia | \ lō-ˈbēl-yə, -ˈbē-lē-ə \

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

Examples of lobelia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The numerous varieties of flowering plants like impatiens, spikes, lobelia and mums, have been carefully cultivated and timed to be ripe with color just as the seasons change. Michael Sangiacomo, cleveland.com, "The plant you give Mom on Mother's Day likely has local roots (photos)," 13 May 2018 Flower to start from seeds: lobelia, pansies, rhodochitons, fibrous begonias, foxglove and hollyhock. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Readers ask: Seedlings, compost and overgrown orchids," 9 Mar. 2018 These include lobelia, pansies, rhodochitons, fibrous begonias, foxglove and hollyhock, all of which can be found on local seed racks and most of which come in several different varieties. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here are the plants you need to start now for them to be ready for summer," 2 Mar. 2018 Cyclamen, foxglove, nicotiana, forget-me-not, lobelia and primrose are good for the shadier spots (about two hours of direct sun or dappled light). NOLA.com, "29 flowering plants to add to your fall garden in South Louisiana," 28 Oct. 2017 Near the vegetable garden is a pollinator garden with native plants such as butterflyweed, milkweed, coneflower and lobelia, all of which attract bees that will then pollinate the flowers on the vegetables. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Master class: Volunteer gardeners teach skills, fill food pantries," 25 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lobelia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of lobelia

1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lobelia

New Latin, from Matthias de Lobel †1616 Flemish botanist

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lobelia

Statistics for lobelia

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lobelia

The first known use of lobelia was in 1739

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lobelia


lo·​be·​lia | \ lō-ˈbēl-yə, -ˈbē-lē-ə \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lobelia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lobelia

Comments on lobelia

What made you want to look up lobelia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!