You are here

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis
Thomas Jefferson recorded planting the Cardinal Flower in one of the oval flower beds near the house at Monticello in 1807. [fn] Betts, Garden Book, 335. See also Edwin M. Betts, Hazlehurst Bolton Perkins, and Peter J. Hatch,Thomas Jefferson's Flower Garden at Monticello, 3rd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1986),67-68.[/fn] This native perennial was introduced to Britain in 1626.[fn]Alice M. Coates, Flowers and their Histories. (London: Black, 1968), 152.[/fn] It was recommended for garden use by Jefferson's nurseryman friend, Bernard McMahon, in The American Gardener's Calendar, 1806,[fn]McMahon, 72, 151, 292, 345, and 461.[/fn] and the earliest American reference comes from John Bartram in 1783.[fn]Denise Wiles Adams, Restoring American Gardens: An Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants, 1640-1940 (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc., 2004), 192.[/fn] At one time this flower was used by Native American Indians as a root tea for treating stomach aches, typhoid and other diseases.The Cardinal Flower is a hardy, North American summer-flowering perennial which has brilliant scarlet flower spikes above deep, blue green basal rosette of foliage.Further Sources
Growth Type: 
Perennial
Color(s): 
Reds
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Location at Monticello: 
West and East Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Partial and Full Shade
Blooming History: 
2001 Jul 7 to 2001 Oct 42002 Jun 28 to 2002 Sep 62003 Jul 4 to 2003 Oct 172004 Jul 12 to 2004 Sep 102005 Jul 13 to 2005 Oct 102006 Jul 13 to 2006 Sep 152007 Aug 16 to 2007 Sep 72008 Aug 1 to 2008 Oct 312009 Sep 1 to 2009 Nov 32011 Jul 15 to 2011 Sep 292012 Jul 20 to 2012 Oct 12013 Aug 21 to 2013 Sep 282014 Jul 30 to 2014 Oct 72015 Jul 14 to 2015 Sep 242016 Jul 20 to 2016 Oct 142017 Jun 30 to 2017 Oct 62018 Jul 11
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Cardinal Flower.

Participate

Login or register to participate in our online community.