Herb: Devil's Tobacco

Latin name: Lobelia tupa

Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)

Medicinal use of Devil's Tobacco:

A juice pressed from the leaves is used in the treatment of toothache. The plant is smoked as an intoxicant.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

to October

Habitat of the herb:

Wooded slopes, in the open and amongst shrubs.

Propagation of Devil's Tobacco:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse. 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 the spring. Plants can also be divided and potted up in the autumn and kept in a cold frame over the winter to protect against losses in severe winters.

Cultivation of the herb:

Wooded slopes, in the open and amongst shrubs.

Known hazards of Lobelia tupa:

The whole plant is poisonous. It contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine. Even smelling this plant has been known to cause sickness.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.