Bring the Outdoors Home

Cardinal Flower | Plant Profile

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) are vibrant, short lived perennials that are native to midwestern swamps and damp woodlands. Tall spires of clustered red flowers rise above the clump forming foliage. The serrated dark green leaves contrast nicely with the deep red flowers. These plants may not be suitable to households with children or pets as the foliage is highly toxic when ingested.

Cardinal Flower prefers fertile, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade.

Cardinal Flower are perfect additions to pollinator or wildflower gardens as they are highly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. They can make beautiful borders to streams or ponds. The flowers bring summer interest and height.


Cardinal Flower Characteristics

Cardinal Flower are low maintenance and showy wildflowers. Though they are easy to care for, they are naturally short lived. To survive, consistently moist soils is a must. They may even tolerate brief flooding along stream or river banks. They can tolerate full sun in the Pittsburgh, but a layer of protective much is still advised. The mulch can help to retain soil moisture in the summer and protect the roots from freezing in the winter.

There are few serious disease or insect issues that threaten Cardinal Flower. Snails and slugs may snack on the leaves.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 3 - 9
2.00 - 4.00'
1.00 - 2.00'
Bloom Time
July - September
Medium - Wet
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?