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Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis

A hummingbird favorite, cardinal flower is a striking plant in the garden or restoration. It is a short-lived perennial, usually blooming 3-5 years. It can reseed if seeds receive enough light and consistent moisture during germination.

USDA symbol: LOCA2

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height3 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorRed
Cardinal Flower (Cardinal Flower<div><em class="small">Lobelia cardinalis</em></div>)
Photo credit: Ecoscapes (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceHigh
General Resilience2
Salt ToleranceLow

Pollinator Value: High

Bloom MonthsMay to September
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Supports Specialists

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Rain Garden, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism4
Herbivore SensitivityLow
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyChisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Houston, Wabasha, Washington, Winona
EcoregionDriftless Area, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Lakes and Forests, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland