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Lobelia cardinalis

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, loam, clay, sand

Height: 2'-5'

Bloom Time: July, August, September

Bloom Color: red

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts butterflies, attracts hummingbirds, clumping, deer resistant, fall interest, medicinal, ornamental foliage, poisonous, pond margin plant, stream margin plant

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Lobelia cardinalis

Also known as:

cardinal flower

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

This Lobelia owes its name to the resemblance of its flowers to the bright red robes worn by cardinals. This plant is not only striking for its spikes of tubular flowers, but also for its dark green, fine toothed, lance shaped leaves which turn to bronze in fall.

Cultivation

Easy to grow in a variety of soils, care should be taken to keep the roots moist. Placement in part-shade is recommended where summers are hot and dry. Great around water features, Lobelia cardinalis is a showy addition to perennial gardens and woodland borders. A mid to late-summer bloomer, with flowers that persist for about 1 1/2 months. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Propagate from seed or by clump division in spring. It is also easily propagated by layering, or by simply bending and securing a stalk to the soil.

Additional Notes

Lobelia cardinalis is attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. It is moderately deer resistant. Its traditional medicinal uses have included treatments for stomach aches, worms, colds, fevers, nosebleeds, headaches and rheumatism. Roots are also said to have aphrodisiac qualities. All parts may be toxic if ingested in large quantities.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Salvage Restricted: AZ
  • Threatened: FL

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Campanulales
Family Campanulaceae Bellflower family
Genus Lobelia lobelia
Species Lobelia cardinalis cardinal flower