E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lobelia dortmanna L.
water lobelia (Dortmann's cardinalflower)
Campanulaceae (Bellflower family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rod Innes  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24066)

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Distribution of Lobelia dortmanna
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Species Information

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Aquatic perennial herb from a fibrous root; stems hollow, upright, mostly unbranched, 0.1-1 m tall, glabrous.
Basal leaves in submerged rosette, linear, somewhat fleshy, hollow, curved, 2-8 cm long; stem leaves few, alternate, inconspicuous or reduced to threadlike bracts.
Inflorescence of stalked, terminal racemes; corollas pale blue or white, 1-2 cm long, lower lip larger and hairy at the base, 3-lobed, upper lip 2-lobed.
Capsules, 5-10 mm long, seeds roughened, squared at the base.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Sandy or gravelly lake and pond margins in the lowland zone; locally common in coastal SW BC; E to NF and S to PA and N OR; NW Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lobelia dortmanna

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 900 900 900
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(7), IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References