Clarissa Clinton

Clarissa Clinton

Modified & Updated: 25 Jan 2024


Cardinal flower, also known by its scientific name Lobelia cardinalis, is a stunning perennial plant that can add a vibrant pop of color to any garden or landscape. Known for its striking scarlet red flowers, cardinal flower is a favorite among both gardeners and nature enthusiasts.

In this article, we will explore 18 fascinating facts about cardinal flower that will not only pique your interest but also provide you with a deep understanding of this remarkable plant. From its historical uses by Native Americans to its role in attracting pollinators, cardinal flower is a plant that holds many surprises.

So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of cardinal flower and uncover some intriguing tidbits about this beautiful plant, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Symbol of Vibrancy

The cardinal flower gets its name from the bright red plumage of a male cardinal bird. Just like the bird, the flower adds a splash of color to its surroundings, attracting attention from both humans and pollinators.

Native Habitat

The cardinal flower is native to the wetland areas of North America, making it an excellent choice for rain gardens and other water features.

Stunning Height

Reaching heights between 2-4 feet, the cardinal flower stands tall among other plants, creating a striking vertical element in the garden.

Hummingbird Magnet

The cardinal flower is a favorite of hummingbirds, attracting these tiny, iridescent visitors with its nectar-rich flowers and tubular shape.

Long Bloom Period

With a blooming season that typically lasts from late summer to early fall, the cardinal flower offers a burst of color during a time when many other plants are starting to fade.

Deep Rooted

The cardinal flower has a well-developed root system that allows it to thrive in wet soil conditions, making it an ideal choice for erosion control.

Medicinal Uses

Native American tribes recognized the medicinal properties of the cardinal flower and used it to treat ailments such as respiratory issues, fever, and digestive problems.

Attracts Butterflies

In addition to hummingbirds, the cardinal flower also attracts a variety of butterfly species, bringing even more beauty and life to your garden.

Drought Intolerant

While the cardinal flower thrives in wet conditions, it is not drought tolerant and requires consistent moisture to thrive.

Easy to Grow

Despite its stunning appearance, the cardinal flower is relatively easy to grow, making it a popular choice among both novice and experienced gardeners.

Versatile Plant

Whether used as a border plant, in a water garden, or as a focal point in a wildflower meadow, the cardinal flower adds a touch of elegance and drama to any landscape.


The cardinal flower is not only attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies but also to bees, making it an essential plant for pollinator-friendly gardens.

Hardy Perennial

With proper care, the cardinal flower can live for several years, delighting you with its vibrant blooms season after season.

Vibrant Native Beauty

As a native plant, the cardinal flower helps support local ecosystems and contributes to the overall health of the environment.

Showstopper in Bouquets

The striking red flowers of the cardinal flower make it a popular choice for cut flower arrangements, adding a bold pop of color to any bouquet.

Striking Contrast

When planted alongside other plants with contrasting foliage colors, such as hostas or ferns, the cardinal flower’s red blooms create an eye-catching contrast in the garden.

Naturalized Areas

The cardinal flower can thrive in naturalized areas, providing a burst of color and attracting wildlife to these wild spaces.

Enjoyed by Photographers

The cardinal flower’s vibrant hues and delicate structure make it a favorite subject for nature photographers, who strive to capture its beauty in stunning images.

In conclusion, the cardinal flower is a truly remarkable plant that enchants with its vivid red blooms, attracts a variety of pollinators, and offers numerous benefits to both the garden and the environment. Incorporating this striking perennial into your landscape will not only add a touch of natural beauty but also provide endless fascination as you witness its many captivating qualities.


In conclusion, the Cardinal Flower is a fascinating plant that captivates both gardeners and nature enthusiasts with its vibrant red flowers and unique characteristics. From its ability to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to its medicinal uses in traditional herbal medicine, the Cardinal Flower is truly a remarkable addition to any garden or natural habitat.

Whether you’re looking to add a splash of color to your garden or want to support local wildlife, the Cardinal Flower is an excellent choice. Its stunning blooms, long blooming season, and adaptability make it a versatile and attractive option for both experienced gardeners and beginners alike.

So, next time you come across the Cardinal Flower, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and significance. This stunning native plant is a true symbol of nature’s wonders.


Q: How tall do Cardinal Flowers typically grow?

A: Cardinal Flowers can reach heights of 2 to 5 feet, making them an impressive addition to any garden or landscape.

Q: Are Cardinal Flowers easy to grow?

A: While Cardinal Flowers require some specific conditions, such as moist soil and partial shade, they are relatively easy to grow with proper care and attention.

Q: Can Cardinal Flowers attract pollinators?

A: Yes, Cardinal Flowers are known for their ability to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, making them an excellent choice for those looking to support pollinators in their gardens.

Q: Are Cardinal Flowers invasive?

A: No, Cardinal Flowers are not considered invasive. They are native to North America and play an important role in supporting local ecosystems.

Q: Can Cardinal Flowers be grown in containers?

A: Yes, Cardinal Flowers can be grown in containers, but they require adequate space and moisture to thrive. Make sure to choose a larger container and provide proper drainage.

Q: Are Cardinal Flowers poisonous?

A: Cardinal Flowers are not typically poisonous to humans. However, it is always a good practice to exercise caution and keep them away from curious children or pets.