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This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to Tanzania.


Lobeliaceae, Mats Thulin (University of Uppsala). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1984

Perennial herb, 10–50 cm. tall, ± erect from a decumbent base.
Stems few-many, ribbed, glabrous to ± sparsely appressed pubescent.
Leaves oblanceolate or spathulate, up to 12–45 mm. long and 3–9(–12) mm. wide, subacute to rounded at the apex, attenuate below into a petiole-like base, glabrous or ± sparsely appressed pubescent on both sides, crenate-serrate; venation distinct beneath.
Flowers in lax 2–13-flowered pedunculate racemes; pedicels 3–15(–27) mm. long, erect in fruit, strigose; bracts lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 2–7 mm. long, entire, ciliate; bracteoles usually at or near the base of the pedicel, but sometimes higher up, linear-lanceolate, 1.2–2.4 mm. long, ciliate.
Hypanthium broadly obconical, somewhat oblique, ± 8-nerved, strigose.
Calyx-lobes narrowly triangular, 2–4 mm. long, entire, glabrous to shortly ciliate, somewhat gibbous at the base.
Corolla (11–)13–18 mm. long, pink, mauve, purple or rarely blue or white, with 2 longitudinal yellowish or whitish crests in the mouth of the tube, split to the base on the back, glabrous or usually at least with a few hairs on the outside of the upper lobes, papillose inside near the mouth of the tube; lower lip 5–10 mm. long, with obovate lobes 2–4 mm. wide; upper lobes lanceolate, recurved, 3–4 mm. long.
Filaments connate above, attached to corolla-tube at the base, densely pubescent on the inside in the upper part, otherwise glabrous or the 2 lower filaments puberulous at the base.
Anther-tube 2–2.4 mm. long, all anthers densely hairy at the apex, otherwise glabrous or rarely sparsely pilose on the connectives on the back.
Ovary semi-inferior.
Capsule ± 8-nerved, strigose, with 2 valves 2–3.5 mm. long.
Seeds ± broadly elliptic in outline, trigonous, 0.8–1 mm. long, very finely reticulate, dark brown.
Fig. 3.
Upland grassland and moor, forest edges, rocky or disturbed places; 900–3000 (–3500) m.
K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T2 T3 T5 T6 T7

Native to:

Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zaïre

Lobelia holstii Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1984 Schlieben, H.J. [3489], Tanzania K000228581 isotype
Jan 1, 1964 Hildebrandt, J.M. [2463], Kenya K000228582 isosyntype
Gillett, J.B. [13947] 10003.000
Drummond, R.B. [1512], Tanzania 969.000
Holst, C. [8960], Tanzania K000228583 isosyntype
Christenhusz, M.J.M., Kamau, P., Mbale, M. [6631], Kenya K000696617

First published in Beibl. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 47: 51 (1894)

Accepted by

  • Lammers, T.G. (2007). World checklist and bibliography of Campanulaceae: 1-675. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Hedberg, I., Kelbessa, E., Edwards, S., Demissew, S. & Persson, E. (eds.) (2006). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 5: 1-690. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • A.D.Q. Agnew, Upland Kenya Wild Flowers p. 517, fig. (1974).
  • E. Wimmer in A. Engler, Das Pflanzenreich IV.276 c: 876 (1968) excl. specim. ex Zimbabwe et var. subhirsuta.
  • Cufod., Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatophyta (Supplement in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux.) p. 1058 (1965).
  • E. Wimmer in A. Engler, Das Pflanzenreich IV.276 b: 596 (1953).
  • T.C.E. Fries in Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahelm 8: 399 (1923).
  • Engl. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 19, Beibl. 47: 51 (1894).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.