Lobelia cardinalis, Cardinal Flower

cardinal flower
photos by Dennis Kalma
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Lobelia cardinalis L.
Cardinal Flower
Campanulaceae (Bellflowers)


Plant: 60-120 cm tall; erect, stem usually unbranched

Flower: in racemes 10-40 cm tall; bilateral; brilliant scarlet red; large (25-45 mm long); lower lip split in three lobes, upper lip split in two lobes with long fused red filaments and topped by gray anthers projecting through the split

Leaves: alternate, small teeth; length to 16 cm, usually 3-5x as long as wide; lower with short petiole, upper smaller and sessile

Habitat: streambanks and wet meadows

Range: New Brunswick west to Minnesota, south to the Gulf of Mexico

Similar species: brilliant scarlet red flower makes it almost impossible to confuse with anything else

    cardinal flower