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Lobelia cardinalis (my own experience)
Lobelia cardinalis has a very pronounced (emerse /submerse) foliar dimorphism.
The 2 plants you wrote about are the same. You can easily check it by cutting "the
red flower stalks" and letting it floating in your aquarium or pond (away from any
fishes). After about 5 weeks, young cuttings will appear at the bottom (base) of
the dead "flowers" (buds).
These cuttings will have small round light green leaves. If you plant them (in a
poor substrate) and cut them regularly you will get "the dwarf form" some other
> I have a plant out by (not in) my pond, that has beautiful long maroon
> leaves and every summer it gives off bright red flower stalks. When I bought
> it the nursery called it "Lobelia cardinalis". Is this the same stuff
> (Lobelia cardinalis) that grows with nickel-sized green leaves in the