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Lobelia cardinalis

Common Name(s):

This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Lobelia cardinalis, commonly called cardinal flower is a native perennial that typically grows in moist locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps and in low wooded areas. It is a somewhat short-lived, clump-forming perennial. The flowers are not attractive to cardinals. Although not common, white and rose-colored varieties also exist. 

A number of hybrid cultivars of Cardinal flower have been produced; the most popular is 'Queen Victoria' with blood-red flowers and bronze foliage. Grow in1 gallon or larger container using rich soil, 1-3 in. of water over the crown.

This plant is effective in moist areas of woodland/shade gardens, wet meadows or along streams or ponds. Also water gardens and rain garden. Also adds late summer bloom and height to borders as long as soils are kept uniformly moist.

The common name is in reference to the red robes worn by Roman Catholic cardinals.

 

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:   Late Summer/Fall           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

  

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Snails and slugs may damage the foliage. Foliage contains alkaloids which are very toxic to humans if ingested.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#hummingbirds#butterflies#poisonous#water garden#rain garden#perennial#native plants#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#low maintenance#riparian#wetlands
Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#hummingbirds#butterflies#poisonous#water garden#rain garden#perennial#native plants#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#low maintenance#riparian#wetlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lobelia
    Species:
    cardinalis
    Family:
    Campanulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Water Plant
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The Cardinal flower features erect, terminal spikes (racemes) of large, cardinal red flowers. Each flower is about 1.5 in. long. A tube of stamens projects upward through a cleft in the corol. The tubular flowers are 2-lipped, with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than the two lobes of the upper lip. The flowers begin opening at the bottom of a terminal flower spike and continue to the top.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The Cardinal flower has finely-toothed, lance-shaped, dark green leaves (to 4" long). The leaves form on branched, alternate-leaved stalks rising typically to a height of 2-3' (infrequently to 4')
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids lobelamine, lobeline, and others, plus a volatile oil
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems