Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) are now in flower in Kalamazoo. Like their showier relatives the Cardinal Flower, these perennial wildflowers need moist soil and tolerate partial shade. The flower spike grows about three feet high and they are often found along streams and rivers. They're a widely distributed plant, found throughout Michigan and most Eastern, Midwestern, and Great Plains states.
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.