Cardinal Flower - Red Lobelia
Lobelia cardinalis, Linnaeus - Syn: L. fulgens
Campanulaceae (Bluebell) Family

Plant is an upright, usually hairy peren-
nial. Preferred habitat is edge of springs and streams, savannas and bogs. Distri-
bution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate on the stem, con-
sisting of one complete part; stalked, widest at the middle to lance-like; forms an angle to the left with sides less than equal. Leaf margins are toothed and its base graduates to a narrow point.

Flowers are in a raceme at the tip of the flowering stem; bisexual; symmetrical in form. Corolla is two-lipped with upper lip having two lobes and the lower lip three lobes. Color is bright red, or rarely white. The flower is supported on the stem by leafy bracts. Flowers occur in late summer and early autumn.

Fruit is a capsule.

Without doubt this is our most handsome deep red wildflower. Cardinal Flower is pollinated chiefly by hummingbirds, since most insects find it difficult to navigate the long tubular flowers. Although relatively common, over picking has resulted in its scarcity in some areas. The plant's common name alludes to the bright red robes worn by bishops of the church.

 Previous Page  

 Return to Index

 Next Page