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Cardinal Flower


Family – Campanulaceae, bellflower family
Genus species – Lobelia cardinalis

Leaves are oval or lance-shaped, 1 to 8 inches long, larger at the base of the plant, smaller at the top of the plant. Leaf edges are scalloped or have sharp teeth.

Flowers are bright red, 1 to 2 inches long, with five lobes. Three lower lobes are spread and bent downwards. Two upper lobes are erect, thinner and more lance-shaped. Five stamens are united in a tube around the style.

Fruit is a many-seeded capsule.

More Information:

The genus name Lobelia is named after Matthias von Lobel (1538-1616), a Flemish botanist.  The species name cardinalis is from the Latin for “of a cardinal,” referring to the bright red color of the flowers.