Plants and People Project

Cardinal Flower - Lobelia cardinalis L.

Native Americans used the root to make a tea that treated a variety of illnesses. It was also used as an ingredient in love potions. Peterson Field Guides Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants

The plant contains poisonous alkaloids, and can be fatal if ingested. Nature Notebook

This beauty is pollinated mostly by hummingbirds because the long tubular flowers are difficult for insects to navigate. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Eastern Region

The royal red miters of the Roman Catholic cardinals appear to have inspired Linnaeus to adopt the species name cardinalis. Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Cardinal Flowers grow along streams and rivers. I have added them to my habitat garden for their nectar and their beauty. The hummingbirds visit them every day once they begin to bloom in late July.

close up of cardinal flower blooms

Cardinal Flower—Spectacular Scarlet Blossoms That Hummingbirds Adore

Identification and other facts / PLANTS database

Cardinal Flower

cardinal flower plants


DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past. Be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

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Posted 8/17/05 Cindy O'Hora