Amazing Chilean Lobelia that is perfectly hardy here if you mulch it during nasty cold snaps. This is one of those perennials that when you see it grown well and you aren't familiar with it, has an almost concussive visual impact. Even when you do know it well, it still seems like a freak of nature it is so beautiful.This gets multiple stalks to 7' high with spires of tubular red flowers for 6-8 weeks which beckon hummingbirds from afar. Highly dramatic and surprisingly easy given good drainage. This grows in sandy areas in Chile so drainage is key. We grow ours in raised beds and mulched with dairy manure as they have a healthy appetite. In late fall, we cut up the stalks and lay them over the crown and usually toss some more cow poo over that as we want to keep frost from the crown plus it can make growth early which can get frosted so the mulch helps. We get ours through short periods of low teens with no problem. This is surely one of the finest of the larger perennials.
If you have the spot for this plant then there is no reason to not to grow this unless you simply don't do red because this is a smoldering fountain of saturated pigmentation celebrating the red spectrum. Red foliage and bright red flowers on 3'-4' stems in late summer. Moist and rich.
Progeny from a San Francisco Botanical Garden introduction from high elevation in Guatemala. High there still means frost sensitive but what a showoff in zones 9&10! Mass red flowers summer into winter with the lower three petals contrasting apricot. Evergreen shrub to 5-'6'+ tall and as wide. Ours in pots feed the overwintering greenhouse hummers.
One of those perennial Lobelia that shouldn't be as hardy as it is but mountainous areas of southern Arizona and northern Mexico have plants with surprising hardiness. A graceful clump of thin willowy leaves on stems 15"-24" tall with a profusion of midsummer tubular red flowers with a bright yellow throat. Deciduous in winter, ours handles our brief drops to 10F with mulch. Good drainage aids in winter survival.