Lobelia cardinalis L.

Cardinal Flower

Perennial herb to about 80 cm tall, with the hairless stems coloured distinctively in reddish purple. Leaves in a basal rosette, alternate up the stem, narrowly ovate to linear-oblong, long-pointed and toothed. Flowers in spikes, to 5 cm long, scarlet.

N America


L. splendens Willd. from Texas and Mexico is similar but has more or less linear leaves and flowers arranged mostly on one side of the stem.

L. ×gerardii 'Vedrariensis' has leaves dark green, tinged with red and flowers dark violet; it is a hybrid, L. cardinalis × L. siphilitica.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Campanulaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Asterales
family       Campanulaceae
genus        Lobelia L.