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Lobelia cardinalis

Common Name of Species: Cardinal Flower
Family: Campanulaceae

Entry Author:  C. Friedl, Muhlenberg College
Description: Cardinal Flower can be identified by its uniquely shaped shockingly scarlet, flower heads. These are highly visible along the edges of swamps, streams and ponds.

Leaves can reach 6 inches in length, are lance shaped and toothless. 
Corolla 1 inch long, 2 lipped; upper corolla lip 2 lobed, split between lobes; lower corolla lip 3-lobed; united stamens forming a tube around style, extending beyond corolla. (Audubon)
Erect, non-branching stem.
Height: 2-4 feet tall.
Branching Pattern of Leaves:
 Leaves are alternate to one another. 
Conditions/Habitat: Damp fields and meadows, especially along streams and ponds.
Range:  : 
North from New England to Florida, and West to Texas, and North to Nebraska.

Niering, W.A., Olmstead, N.C, & Thieret, J.W. (2001). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Eastern Region (Revised Edition).  New York: Random House Inc.

Newcomb, Lawrence (1977).  Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.  New York: Little, Brown.

McKenny, M. & Peterson R.T. (1996). Peterson Field Guides: Wildflowers Northeastern/ North-central North America. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

USDA, NRCS (2004). Plants Database, Version 3.05 (  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874 USA.


This page was created by: C. Friedl, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/15/05