Ease to Grow: Easy
Native Range: Wetlands of North and South America
Zones: 3-8 (2-10)
Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, is a striking, tall, wetland plant with vibrant red flower heads. Each flower has two upper petals and three spreading lower petals, all joined in a long nectar tube. The 100+ flowers tightly cluster into a long, tall blooming spire of vibrant red. The leaves are dark green and finely toothed. It prefers growing in consistently wet, loose soils, appreciating shade and tolerating full sun in cool, northern zones. It flowers from Summer through Fall and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It is a rapid grower and spreads nicely from offshoots along the stem in Fall. The alkaloids from the plant are considered poisonous to animals. Cardinal Flower is technically not a perennial because the flowering stem and its roots die after setting seed, but offshoots develop along the stem and can propagate the colony year after year. It generously produces seeds, and spreads through out the collection. It is outstanding among pitcher plants and a plant of merit in the bog garden.
Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. In it's dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant root/rhizome. Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific plant shipped.
Height: 8" - 24+"
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate
Soil: General Bog Mix
Soil pH: 6.0-7.5
Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Use: Late summer brilliant red summer flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.