A very polymorphous species - botanists have at times attempted to classify it into a series of varieties but these do not really hold[
Dortmanna colorata (Wall.) Kuntze
Dortmanna mishmica (C.B.Clarke) Kuntze
Dortmanna nicotianifolia (Roth) Kuntze
Lobelia beddomeana E.Wimm.
Lobelia colorata Wall.
Lobelia courtallensis K.K.N.Nair
Lobelia doniana Skottsb.
Lobelia leucanthera Kerr.
Lobelia mishmica C.B.Clarke
Lobelia palustris Kerr.
Lobelia seguinii arakana E.Wimm.
Lobelia seguinii doniana (Skottsb.) E.Wimm.
Lobelia stimulens Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
Lobelia trichandra Wight
Rapuntium coloratum (Wall.) C.Presl
Rapuntium nicotianifolium (Roth) C.Presl
Lobelia nicotianifolia is a coarse, biennial or perennial herb that can grow up to 2 metres tall, exceptionally to 4.5 metres. The stems can be unbranched, or with branches near their apices[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and insecticide.
The seeds are very poisonous[
The dry herb, when handled, is very acrid, and causes irritation to the throat and nostrils like tobacco. The symptoms of poisoning are similar to those of nicotine[
The latex of the plant causes dermatitis[
E. Asia - southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia.
Open localities on ridges in mossy forest, often on grassy mountain slopes and hills, at elevations from 600 - 2,300 metres[
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An infusion of the leaves is taken as an antispasmodic[
The crushed leaves, or the juice, is applied to abscesses and furuncles[
The seeds are very poisonous, and used as an insecticide[
Applied externally to the body, the leaves are used as a leech repellent[
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