Lobelia cardinalis

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Cardinal Flower


Plant Specifics

Size:3-5 ft tall by 1 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Red
Fruit Color:Brown,NA
Phenology:Winter dormant
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Wildflower in moist garden, edge of water garden, understory plant in wet woods or stream edges
Propagation:Seed or division
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Aquatic ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Aquatic ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Pond, lake, or stream bottom, Loam, Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:



Pollinated by hummingbirds.


  • The nectar attracts various Swallowtail butterflies.
  • Bumblebees will steal nectar through slits in the tubular corolla.
  • Halictid bees sometimes gather pollen, but they are apparently ineffective at pollination (Illinois Wildflowers website).

Native Habitats:Riverine swamps, spring run swamps, bogs, in mats of floating vegetation, wet ditches.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures