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Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis
cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Common name cardinal flower
Family campanulaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers red (summer)
Size 24"
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes moist soil
From seed germinate at room temperature with exposure to light
detailed seed-starting info below

US native famous for its popping-scarlet flowers in mid-summer. We've had mixed success with this plant; it really insists on consistent moisture, and will fade away if drought strikes. One year I planted one in a pot placed along the edge of our little pond, the pot not quite submerged. It did marvellously that season, but did not return the next year. Our latest attempt (following a generous gift by a plant sale customer) is similar: set in a pot placed in our big pond's filtration bog, the plant has consistently moist soil. It certainly likes its current lot - we'll see if this one survives winter.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '06 trade. Baggy 70F with light (3%G, 24-38d)
  2. Seed from '07 trade. Baggy 70F with light (18+%G, 15-29d)
  3. Seed from '09 garden. Baggy 70F with light (10/many G, 15-32d)
  4. Seed from '08 garden. Baggy 70F with light (12%G, 10-30d)
  5. Same seed as above. Surface-sowed to pot at 70F (reasonable G, 18-25d)

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