Is there a perennial Riviera Blue Eyes Lobelia for Toronto?

(Question)

Is there a type of this lobelia that’s perennial for Toronto area? I picked some up in previous year from a big box store and loved the look. However, I don’t want to go through the effort and expense of having to purchase that every year. Just wondering if there’s a type of blue eyes lobelia perennial that can grow from seed

 

(Answer)

Unfortunately, the vivid ‘blue eyes’ type Lobelia is not perennial in the Toronto climate. They prefer warmer winters – with a maximum low temperature of -10c.

There are some varieties that are hardy in Ontario, but they are not ground covers. Lobelia siphilitica or Blue Cardinal Flower, and Lobelia cardinalis or Cardinal Flower, both grow well in Toronto, but can grow to 1-3 feet tall, with spikes of colourful, upright flowering stems in late summer through to mid autumn. Both are natives to the eastern United States and Canada.

The good news is that lobelia are members of the Campanula family. There are many Campanula species and varieties that are hardy perennials in Toronto. If you are looking for prolific flowering groundcovers you might like to look at Campanula poscharskyana ‘Blue Waterfall’ aka Serbian bellflower, or Campanula ‘Birch Hybrid’ aka Dwarf bellflower.