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(Lobelia cardinalis)
Cardinal Flower

Host Plant: none

Nectar Plant: hummingbirds and other butterflies

Flower Color: red, rarely white to pink

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial that grows to 5 feet tall.

Range in North America: Most of North America except for the northwest.

Exposure: Full Sun to partial shade

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Soil Requirements: moist soil with a high organic content

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Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Red flowers of cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis).
Flower of Cardinal Flower — Hardyplants, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

Indian Pink and Lobelia

Description of Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), a member of the Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows to 5 feet tall and has red flowers that bloom in the summer to fall.  It can rarely have a pink to white flower.

More about Cardinal Flower can be found on this blog post.

Nectar Species

Cardinal flower is a nectar plant for hummingbirds and butterflies.


This species grows on streambanks, wet meadows, and other places that are wet.

Range of Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) in the United States and Canada

Range map of cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The name of the plant refers to the resemblance of the flower color to a Roman Catholic Cardinal’s robe.

Native Location

New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9

Exposure Requirements

Full Sun, Part Shade/Part Sun

Plant Habit


Soil Requirements

Medium, Moist


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