Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal flower is a great choice for gardeners wanting to attract hummingbirds into their gardens. It’s clump-forming habit with brilliant scarlet red flower spikes set against green and purple-bronze colored foliage provide a spectacular garden display in the heat of summer. Flowers appear on 2’ long spikes that sit atop 3-4’ tall plants. Cardinal flower flourishes in moist soils in filtered shade to sun. Stream banks, water’s edge, woodland edges, and garden soils less prone to summer drought are excellent planting sites. 

USDA Zone 4-9
Plant Spacing 6-16"
Sun Exposure Full Sun / Part Shade
Soil Moisture Wet / Wet-Mesic
Height 4 feet
Bloom Time July – Sept


Cardinal Flower is an important nectar source for hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies. Most insects find it difficult to navigate the long tubular flowers, so the Cardinal Flower depends on hummingbirds, which feed on the nectar, for pollination. Cardinal Flower is an excellent choice for wetland planting, along the bank of a stream or creek or in a wildflower meadow.


Cardinal Flower produces intense red blossoms in mid to late summer at a time when many other perennials are fading in the summer heat. Cardinal flowers grow best in a moist location with morning sun and afternoon shade. They need some protection from midday sun, and tend to do well at a wood’s edge or at the base of a tree. Placing them in a low spot in the yard or border to help keep them moist making them a great choice for rain gardens.

The flowering spikes open from the bottom to the top and bloom for several weeks. By the time the flowers at the top of the stalk are open, the older flowers at the base have already set seed. Cardinal Flowers are not true perennials, the flowering stem and its roots die after setting seed, however new offsets grow from the axils of the lowermost leaves and put down their own roots.


Cardinal Flower Range Map

Cardinal Flower Label

Cardinal Flower Seeds


Packet includes 50 Seeds + FREE SHIPPING

Cardinal Flower grow best in moist, rich soils in full sun to partial shade.

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