Lobelia Gregoriana subsp. Gregoriana
Giant Lobelia / Gin and Tonic Lobelia
Reaching up to 1.5m tall when flowering, these giant lobelias are native to the alpine region of Mount Kenya. Like other bromeliads, the leaf rosette collects water which freezes into ice cubes overnight, giving the plant its name of Gin and Tonic Lobelia.
Leaf rosettes are made up of up to 40 leaves, broad and rigid, lanceolate in shape, sometimes red or purple in colour toward the base. Leaves reach up to around 60cm long and 20cm wide, wider at the base and very lightly hairy. The inflorescence is truly stunning, growing as a large cone up to 1m tall from the center of the rosette and up to 20cm thick. The 'trunk' of the inflorescence is made up of recurved bracts, and are pollinated by birds in its natural habitat.
Requires bright sun and a gritty, well draining soil.
Hardy down to around -10°C, though it should not be kept at extreme low temperatures for elongated periods of time.