Join us for our next Pasture Walk May 30, 2024!

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Great for grabbing attention and hummingbirds; find a home for this short-lived perennial


For quantity discount pricing, request a quote.


Lobelia cardinalis, commonly called cardinal flower is a Missouri native perennial which typically grows in moist locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps and in low wooded areas.

Wildlife notes

The flowers attract the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds and various Swallowtail butterflies.  Halictid bees sometimes gather pollen, but they are ineffective at pollination. The seeds are too small to be of much interest to birds.

Forage notes

Livestock usually don’t consume this plant because of the toxic white latex in the foliage.

Landscaping notes

Easily grown in rich, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Needs constant moisture. Tolerates brief flooding. Soils should never be allowed to dry out. Tolerates full sun in northern climates but appreciates part afternoon shade in hot summer climates of the lower Midwest and South.  Effective in moist areas of woodland/shade gardens, wet meadows or along streams or ponds. Water gardens. Rain garden. Also adds late summer bloom and height to borders as long as soils are kept uniformly moist.

Restoration notes

Habitats include wet prairies, prairie swales, openings in floodplain and bottomland woodlands, soggy meadows along rivers and streams, gravelly seeps and springs, borders of ponds, edges of small marshes, and ditches. These habitats include both sandy and non-sandy areas. Cardinal Flower is often found in sunny areas near sources of water, or it is found in open woodland areas where moist depressions occur.

This species is commonly used in the following mixes: Wet Meadow Mix, Butterfly & Hummingbird Mix

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

1 bulk lb/acre


Moist, Wet

Bloom Month

Aug, Sep



Specialty Uses

Hummingbird, Landscaping, Medicinal

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.