Although most people know lobelia as a blue, pink or white-flowered bedding or container plant, it has some stunning relatives. Bedding lobelia is a small plant of bushy growth, ideal for window boxes and hanging baskets. It is rarely taller than 20cm or longer than about 40cm when trailing down.

Although it flowers profusely all summer, it is usually cast in the role of a colourful filler, ideal for setting off bigger flowers such as petunia or geranium, but not a star in its own right. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but the difference between this little plant and its elegant bigger cousins is dramatic.