Lobelia cardinalis

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Cardinal Flower


Plant Specifics

Size:3-5 ft tall by 1 ft wide
Life Span:Short-lived perennial
Flower Color:Red
Fruit Color:Brown,NA
Phenology:Winter dormant. Blooms late summer-early winter. While perennial, some plants may die after flowering.
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Wildflower in moist garden, edge of water garden, understory plant in wet woods or stream edges
Propagation:Seed, division, or cuttings.
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:Acidic



Attracts 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 (Hillty, ).

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