Boykin's Lobelia / Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Boykin's Lobelia (Lobelia boykinii)

This closeup shows the lovely pinkish flowers characteristic of the species. Photo Credit: Marj Boyer
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Campanulaceae
  • State: AL, DE, FL, GA, MS, NC, NJ, SC
  • Nature Serve ID: 135218
  • Lifeform: Forb/herb
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/08/1989

Boykin's lobelia is a semi-aquatic perennial herb that grows to 3 feet in swamps and cypress ponds from the coastal plain of Delaware to Florida (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). The stem is hollow, 40-85 cm. tall and has few if any branches. The lower portion is often immersed in water, at least seasonally. Leaves are alternate and needle-like. It produces blue to white flowers from May to July and is the only Lobelia that possesses rhizomes. It grows to about 5-8.5 dm high and the long needle-like leaves often fall before the plant flowers (Bates 1996). It is an obligate outcrosser and the regulation of seed set can differ between sites (Bates 1996). Boykin's lobelia is critically imperiled throughout its entire range.

Where is Boykin's Lobelia (Lobelia boykinii) located in the wild?


Wet habitats, primarily in the south central coastal plain and sandhills region of NC including: cypress ponds, Carolina bays, depression ponds, and meadows (Bates 1996).


Southern Delaware to Florida with a single disjunct population found in New Hampshire. (Bates 1996)

States & Provinces:

Boykin's Lobelia can be found in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina

Which CPC Partners conserve Boykin's Lobelia (Lobelia boykinii)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Restricted to scattered populations in the southeastern Coastal Plain with a few disjunct occurrences in New Jersey and Delaware. Approximately 70 occurrences are believed extant, mostly in South Carolina and Georgia; the total remaining population is probably less than 10,000 plants. The species' wetland habitats were once common in the southeast but are now limited in number due to drainage for agriculture and development. In addition, many southeastern wetlands are threatened by a drawdown in the regional water table, a result of intense development over the last 10-20 years. Lack of disturbance, leading to succession, is also a threat. Populations in New Jersey have declined for unknown reasons.

  • 01/01/2010

Ditches and plow lines Vehicles Foot traffic Land conversion Herbivory (deer and rabbit) Fungal attack (Altenaria and Botrytis cinerea) (Bates 1996)

  • 01/01/2010

67 known populations. Known to grow in five Carolina bays in NC. (Bates 1996)

  • 01/01/2010

Reproductive biology conducted by graduate student Moni Bates (1996). Population dynamic models and L. boykinii research being conducted at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (Lacey et al. 2001)

  • 01/01/2010

Active management/management research is being carried out in three North Carolina Nature Conservancy-owned Carolina bays.

  • 01/01/2010

Protect existing populations and surrounding areas from development. Develop and implement management regimes that take into consideration the flowering phenology of each population.

  • 01/01/2010

Seed collection from all extant populations


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Taxon Lobelia boykinii
Authority Torr. & A. Gray ex A. DC.
Family Campanulaceae
CPC Number 2646
ITIS 34510
Duration Perennial
Common Names Boykin's lobelia
Associated Scientific Names Lobelia boykinii | Dortmanna boykinii
Distribution Southern Delaware to Florida with a single disjunct population found in New Hampshire. (Bates 1996)
State Rank
State State Rank
Alabama S1S2
Delaware S1
Florida S1
Georgia S2S3
Mississippi S1
North Carolina S2
New Jersey S1
South Carolina S3
Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees Confirmed Pollinator Link
Flies Confirmed Pollinator Link

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