Isotoma_aneth.JPG (34576 bytes)Isotoma anethifolia: is a member of the Lobeliaceae family and is a perennial herb that reaches a height of 30 centimetres.
The leaves are very narrow and lobed. Flowers are about three centimetres across and the floral tube is 12 millimetres long. They are usually white but some blooms have a pinkish tinge. Flowering is profuse and occurs between November and February.
We have observed Hawk Moths visiting flowers at dusk. These moths have a proboscis that is long enough to reach the base of the floral tube. Hopefully there is a reward of nectar at the bottom of the tube.
Please Note: All Isotomas produce a sap from cut or broken stems. This sap will produce a severe stinging sensation if rubbed on the eyes. When handling cuttings it is preferable to wear gloves.
Apart from this drawback, Isotoma anethifolia is a beautiful herbaceous plant. In colder climates plants may expire in winter. The specie propagates rapidly from cuttings and we keep a few struck cuttings, in a sheltered spot, over winter then plant out in spring. Isotoma anethifolia may also be propagated from seed.
Isotoma anethifolia is found in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland . It usually grows in damp crevices in rocky areas. The plant illustrated is growing in our gardens in an open well-drained site.
Isotoma anethifolia is an ideal plant for native cottage gardens and rockeries.
Propagate from seed or cuttings bearing in mind the stinging properties of the sap.
Isotoma axillaris is another widely cultivated species.