Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis


Jefferson planted this brilliant summer-blooming wildflower in an oval bed in 1807. Although the seed came from Bernard McMahon in Philadelphia, the Cardinal Flower grows along the streams on the lower parts of Monticello Mountain. It was in McMahon's book that American gardeners were first urged to search the local woodlands and fields for "the various beautiful ornaments with which nature has profusely decorated them." Wildflowers are particularly suited for the mid and late summer when American gardens "are almost destitute of bloom" while the nearby meadow can be a waving tapestry of color. "Is it because they are indigenous that we should reject them?" asked McMahon. "What can be more beautiful than our Lobelias, Orchis, Asclepia, and Asters . . ."
From Thomas Jefferson's Flower Garden at Monticello by Edward M. Betts.

Growth Type: Perennial Color(s): Reds Hardiness Zones: 4 - 8 Location at Monticello: West and East Lawn Planting Conditions: Partial and Full Shade

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Blooming Dates 2001: Jul 7 – Oct 42002: Jun 28 – Sep 62003: Jul 4 – Oct 172004: Jul 12 – Sep 102005: Jul 13 – Oct 102006: Jul 13 – Sep 152007: Aug 16 – Sep 72008: Aug 1 – Oct 312009: Sep 1 – Nov 32011: Jul 15 – Sep 292012: Jul 20 – Oct 12013: Aug 21 – Sep 282014: Jul 30 – Oct 7