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Lobelia cardinalis

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Cardinal Flower
Common Name (Alternative): Scarlet Lobelia

Native to much of North America, naturally occurring as far north as New Brunswick, south to Florida, and west to Texas.

Brilliant fire red flower spikes stand atop distinctly upright plants from late summer through early fall. The leaves are green and lance-like. This species prefers a location in partial shade.

Lobelia is an excellent border plant for moist locations and is a hummingbird magnet. It also attracts butterflies and swallowtails.

Origin: Native Species

Characteristics:



Height:
  3-4 Feet
Spread:
  2 Feet
Flower Color:
  Red shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Average water needs
  Consistent water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
  Attracts hummingbirds
  Attracts songbirds
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
  Rabbit resistant
How fast should it grow?:
  Medium
When should it bloom?:
  Late summer
  Early fall
How's your soil?:
  Poor Soil
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
  Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Woodland/Shade
  Rain Garden
  Water Garden
  Eclectic

Attributes:

Bog plant
Border plants
Cut flower or foliage
Mass Planting

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

The perfect plant for damp locations such as near ponds or low-lying areas, Lobelia will easily adapt to 'wet feet' but can also tolerate well-drained soils. If enough moisture is available, it will grow in full sun. In drier soils, it should be planted in part shade. Deadheading spent blooms will improve the overall appearance of the plant and may promote reblooming. It's a good idea to cut this plant back in the spring instead of the fall, since the foliage will help protect the root zone in the winter. Mulch is also recommended.


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Hosta 'August Moon'
Common Name: Hosta
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Crocosmia 'Emily McKenzie'
Common Name: Montbretia
6,7,8,9
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Cimicifuga ramosa 'Hillside Black Beauty' PP9988 COPF
Common Name: Snakeroot-Black
4,5,6,7,8
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Astilbe 'August Light' ('Augustleuchten')
Common Name: Astilbe-Hybrid
4,5,6,7,8,9
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While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.