Cardinal Flower–Lobelia cardinalis

IMG_0561The Cherokee used a poultice of crushed leaves for pain and headaches.   A root infusion was used for rheumatism and for worms.   A leaf decoction was drunk to reduce fever.   A cold infusion of the roots was used for nose bleeds. An infusion of the root was used for stomach problems, croup and to treat syphilis.

Cardinal Flower is a perennial that can grown to 4 feet talk and likes wet places.  The flowers are normally red and just as a tip, Hummingbirds love this plant!!   If you want hummingbirds this is the plant for you.

Cardinal Flowers love fertile soils that stay moist year round.   It is happy in full sun to part shade.   I make sure to give it extra water in the summer.    It is not invasive and I allow the seeds to naturally fall to the ground so I will have a few new plants next spring to share with friends.   I do not do anything special but just let nature take over.    If you want to collect the seeds this is want you need to do:

  • collect seeds in the fall
  • place them in a sealed container and refrigerate for 2 months
  • use a planting tray and cover the seeds with a minimum amount of good soil and water from underneath.
  • watering from above causes the seeds to sink too low in the soil medium
  • allow the seedlings to grown before transplanting them into pots

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