Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
- Family: Bellwort (Campanulaceae)
- Flowering: July-October.
- Field Marks: This species is readily recognized by
its bright red, 2-lipped flowers.
- Habitat: Along streams, low woods, marshes, wet
meadows, around ponds and lakes, wet prairies.
- Habit: Perennial herb from fibrous roots.
- Stems: Erect, branched or unbranched, usually hairy,
up to 6 feet tall, with milky sap.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to lanceolate,
pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, usually hairy,
up to 8 inches long, up to 2 1/2 inches broad.
- Flowers: Several crowded into racemes up to 15 inches
long; each flower bright red, up to 2 inches long, on short
- Sepals: 5, green, very narrow, up to 1 inch long.
- Petals: 5, bright red, 2-lipped; the upper lip 2-lobed; the lower lip 3-lobed.
- Stamens: 5, united.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid to spherical, up to 1/2 inch
across, opening at the tip; seeds yellow-brown, warty, 1/20 inch
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