Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower
The leaves are alternate with a toothed margin. Brilliant red blooms first mature in late summer and continue into mid-fall. The showy flowers begin opening at the bottom of a terminal flower spike and continue to the top." (North Carolina Extension)
"The preference is light shade to full sun, and wet to moist conditions. Cardinal Flower adapts to loam, sandy loam, or gravelly soil; the soil should contain some organic matter to retain moisture. This plant doesn't like to dry out and it has a reputation of being temperamental and short-lived. It is easier to establish this plant using transplants, as the seeds are quite small and the young seedlings are rather fragile." (Hilty)
"The nectar of the flowers attracts the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and various Swallowtail butterflies, including such species as Papilio polyxenes asterias (Black Swallowtail), Papilio troilus (Spicebush Swallowtail), and Battus philenor (Pipevine Swallowtail). Sometimes the larger bumblebees will steal nectar through slits in the tubular corolla. Halictid bees sometimes gather pollen, but they are ineffective at pollination. The larvae of a polyphagous fly, Metopomyza scutellata, mine the leaves of Cardinal Flower. The caterpillars of a moth, Enigmogramma basigera (Pink-washed Looper Moth), also feed on the leaves (Schweitzer & Roberts, 2007). The seeds are too small to be of much interest to birds. Mammalian herbivores usually don't consume this plant because of the toxic white latex in the foliage." (Hilty)
Type: Herbaceous perennialFamily: CampanulaceaeNative Range: AmericasZone: 3 to 9Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feetSpread: 1.00 to 2.00 feetBloom Time: July to SeptemberBloom Description: Scarlet red, white or roseSun: Full sun to part shadeWater: Medium to wetMaintenance: LowSuggested Use: Naturalize, Rain GardenFlower: ShowyAttracts: Hummingbirds, ButterfliesTolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Wet SoilCovers
- Copyright Long Island Natives
- "H20120823-5379—Lobelia cardinalis--RPBG" by John Rusk is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
"Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower" by FritzFlohrReynolds is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
- By Hardyplants - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8758821
- By Tim Ross - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3121478
- By Barnes, Dr. Thomas G. - http://www.fws.gov/digitalmedia/FullRes/natdiglib/IMG0052.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8639099
Botanical illustration: "The Botanical Magazine, Plate 320 (Volume 9, 1795)" by William Curtis, Public Domain.
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