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Cardinal Flower

( Lobelia cardinalis )

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Cardinal Flower
Campanulaceae
Lobelia
Lobelia cardinalis
Linnaeus
NB, ON, QC
Characteristics

Wildflower

Deciduous

3

Sun, Partial Shade

Loam, Humus Enriched

Normal, Moist, Wet

No

No

No

No
Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains

Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field, Riparian, Lakeshores

Pond Edge/Wetland Garden, Bird, Prairie/Meadow
Design Considerations

60 cm

120 cm

Jul - Sep

Red

Yes

No




Yes


Yes


Hummingbirds, Butterflies, Bees

No
Conservation Status

No


Interesting Tidbits

POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. TOXIC ONLY IF EATEN IN LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma. Toxic Principle: Alkaloids lobelamine, lobeline, and others, plus a volatile oil. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.) It relies upon hummingbirds for pollination. (USDA) Habitat Information: Habitat is wet meadows, and wet soil in many full sun to part shade conditions. Deer browse affects this plant. Garden Uses: The tubular flowers are long lasting, and the plant is perfect for moist sites in the garden. Difficult to grow, it needs nutrient rich soil, and sun or partial shade. (Johnson, L., 100 Easy To Grow Native Plants, 1999). Particularly attractive at the edge of a woodland garden. This plant is easily propagated. (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) To be water conservation friendly, this plant is a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, outflow of a residential downspout, or for use in bioswales or stormwater ponds, where water is captured and held to create periodic or constant wet conditions. (Evergreen) Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: Plant is considered potentially toxic, unconfirmed. Contains the alkaloid of others of the genus, called lobeline, which acts similarly to nicotine, and known to be skin irritant. The root is analgesic, antelmintic, antispasmodic, and stomachic. Tea has been made from root for epilepsy, syphilis, typhoid stomach aches, cramps, worms. Poultice has been used used to stimulate healing of sores and to cure headaches. Leaves are analgesic and febrifuge. (Plants for a Future) Plants can be divided in spring or fall, and can be started by spreading seeds on the soil's surface after they mature in the fall.


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