Lobelia cardinalis is also known as Lobelia splendors, Lobelia fulgent, Cardinal Flower, Bog Sage, Hog’s Physic, Indian Pink, Red Bay, Scarlet Lobelia, Slinkweed, or Water Gladiole. It is part of the Campanulaceae family of plants. It is native to the Americas from southern Canada south to Colombia. It usually grows in wet landscapes by streams or swamps. Lobelia cardinalis is an upright, herbaceous perennial plant.
Lobelia cardinalis can grow to 90cm or 3ft tall. It is clump-forming. It has oblong leaves. The leaves are medium green. The flowers are crimson or red. They are deeply five-lobed that grow on terminal spikes. Lobelia cardinalis flowers in summer and autumn. It got introduced to Europe around 1620 originally as the Cardinal Flower.
How to grow Lobelia cardinalis:
Grow Lobelia cardinalis in full sun or partial shade. Plant it in moist and fertile soil that is well-drained. Propagate by seed or cuttings in late summer or by dividing. Cut it back after the flowering season is over. Watch out for slugs, snails, or leaf spot. Lobelia cardinalis attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and pollinators. It is deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant. Deadhead flowers for more blooms.
Historically Zuni people made a cake using this plant called Schumaakwe. Zuni people are the native American in the Zuni River area in western New Mexico. Penobscot people smoked dried leaves instead of tobacco, Penobscot is indigenous people who lived in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec.
Also read about Lobelia tupa.