Herb: Pale Spike


Latin name: Lobelia spicata


Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)



Medicinal use of Pale Spike:

A tea made from the leaves is emetic. A wash made from the stalks was used to treat neck and jaw sores. A tea made from the root was used in the treatment of trembling limbs - it was applied to scratches made in the limb.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Dry mostly sandy soils in fields, meadows, glades and thickets.

Propagation of Pale Spike:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in moist sand, it forms roots at the nodes.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry mostly sandy soils in fields, meadows, glades and thickets.

Known hazards of Lobelia spicata:

The plant is potentially poisonous. It contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.