Lobelia cardinalis

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 9 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: cardinal flower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Campanulaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Scarlet red, white or rose
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in rich, humusy, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Needs constant moisture. Will tolerate full sun in cool, northern climates, but otherwise appreciates part shade. Divide clumps in spring as needed. May self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cardinal flower is a Missouri native perennial which typically grows in moist locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps and in low wooded areas. A somewhat short-lived, clump-forming perennial which features erect, terminal spikes (racemes) of large, cardinal red flowers on unbranched, alternate-leafed stalks rising typically to a height of 2-3' (infrequently to 4'). Tubular flowers are 2-lipped, with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than the two lobes of the upper lip. Finely-toothed, lance-shaped, dark green leaves (to 4" long). Late summer bloom period. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, but not cardinals. White and rose colored forms are also known.

Problems

No serious disease or insect problems.

Garden Uses

Provides late summer bloom to the perennial border, wild garden, native plant garden or woodland garden. Excellent for butterfly or bird (hummingbird) gardens. Also effective near ponds or streams.