Friday, November 11, 2011

Wild Lobelia

I saw these flowers growing in the jungle near the Sirimane Falls in the Western Ghats. When I went too near to smell it, one of the locals shouted a warning, saying it would make me retch!
The Dhaval, Lobelia nicoteanefolia is found extensively in the lower slopes of the Western Ghats. It is also known as the wild tobacco. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but like all native Indian plants, the Dhaval is also used in Ayurveda medicine , mostly for the treatment of asthma and bronchitis. The poisonous leaves can be smoked like tobacco. The plant contains the alkaloid lobeline.