Cardinal Flowers, Lobelia cardinalis, Makes a Great Show

  • Post published:08/22/2021
  • Post comments:4 Comments
Cardinal flowers, properly known as Lobelia cardinalis

One of the main reasons I planted Cardinal flowers is because they love water. My garden is very wet, and I have chosen these water-loving flowers that keep it colorful from July into September. These are growing five feet tall  and more. They are welcoming to butterflies and hummingbirds.

While red is the most common color it does occasionally come in other colors. You can see a couple of rosier blossoms, but sometimes there will be white or pink blossoms.

Cardinal flower babies

The Cardinal flower surprised me by it’s rate of increasing. I was not quick to notice the babies like these growing close to the ground. I don’t know how the larger ‘baby’ got such a head start.  Neither did I notice the many seeds that come in two-celled pods which open at the top of the flowers – which explain babies here and there.

I often use the Missouri Botanical Garden to find out the benefits and trials of plants I am interested in. In addition to advice about the growth of these flowers I enjoy finding out bits of extra information, such as that this plant is named after Matthias de l’Obel (1538-1616), French physician and botanist. Also the color red is in reference to the red robes of Catholic cardinals.

If you have a wet garden, this is a great plant for you.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. gardeninacity

    Gorgeous plant, but a little finicky in my experience.

  2. Beth@PlantPostings

    Wow, great choice for your garden! I love this plant/these blooms, and the hummingbirds do, too. There’s a lovely patch of it at the UW-Madison Arboretum. I haven’t tried to grow it here…but maybe I will…

  3. Pat

    gardeninacity – That is the wonderful thing about gardens and gardeners. We all get to make our own choices – and the bees do love cardinal flowers.

  4. Pat

    Beth – I do love the cardinal flowers, but I do remind everyone about the way they love to spread.

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