Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Partial sun, wet to moderately wet moisture level, rich soil, slightly acid pH.  2-4 ft. height, blooms in summer, red flowers.  Easy from seed but does not re-seed readily.

Germination Code:  C(60), D

Native Region:  Statewide

Brilliant red flowers that are beloved by hummingbirds.  This plant is a water lover and best with a constant supply of moisture.  Can take full sun if planted in a pond or along a stream bank where it has a steady supply of water.  Will not survive in clay soils. Not long-lived and needs to be divided every 3 years in order to survive.  Roots are very shallow and easy to divide.

flower;sun/shade;wet;loam

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2 responses to “Cardinal Flower

  1. Joy Stewart September 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I have tried this plant in part sun in the garden and as a marginal, submerged plant on the edge of my pond. In the pond, it grows as though it is on steroids (5 ft tall) and in the garden it always dies no matter where I put it. I can’t seem to keep the ground dependably wet enough to keep it alive plus I have pretty heavy clay soil. If you can give this plant what it needs, it is easy to grow and drop-dead gorgeous.

  2. Judy Williams January 20, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Enjoyed this around the pond on the farm. Grew about 18″ high. Planning to try to establish in my town yard at the edge of periodic wet area.

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