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Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal flower grows in moist areas such as seeps, wooded swamps, freshwater marshes, and along the banks of ponds, rivers and streams. (mtnbike115/Flickr)
Cardinal flower grows in moist areas such as seeps, wooded swamps, freshwater marshes, and along the banks of ponds, rivers and streams. (mtnbike115/Flickr)

Cardinal flower is a native perennial plant with small, red, tubular flowers that bloom in late summer.

Appearance:

  • Small, red, tubular flowers with two lips and three lobes
  • Flowers bloom on alternate sides along unbranched stalks
  • Flowers bloom in July-September
  • Finely toothed, lance-shaped leaves that grow to 4 inches long
  • Grows 2-4 feet tall

Habitat:

  • Found in moist areas such as seeps, wooded swamps, freshwater marshes, and along the banks of ponds, rivers and streams
  • Grows in full or partial sun

Range:

  • Grows throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Reseeds itself each year
  • Can be propagated by seed or cutting

Other Facts:

  • Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds
  • The Iroquois had many medicinal uses for cardinal flower. The boiled the roots together with chicory root and used the liquid to treat fever. They also mashed the roots, stems, leaves and flowers together to treat cramps.
  • The Pawnee Indians used cardinal flower roots and flowers as a love charm

Sources and Additional Information:




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