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Lobelia cardinalis - L.

Common Name Cardinal Flower
Family Campanulaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards The plant is potentially toxic, but the degree of toxicity is unknown[222]. It contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine[274]. he sap of the plant has been known to cause skin irritation[274].
Habitats Damp shores, meadows and swamps[43].
Range N. America - New Brunswick to Quebec, south to Florida and Texas.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower


http://www.fws.gov/
Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Linnaeus

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Purple, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lobelia cardinalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Anthelmintic  Antispasmodic  Emetic  Epilepsy  Expectorant  Febrifuge  Homeopathy  
Nervine  Stomachic

Emetic, expectorant and nervine[4, 61]. The root is analgesic, anthelmintic, antispasmodic and stomachic[4, 61, 257]. A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of epilepsy, syphilis, typhoid, stomach aches, cramps, worms etc[222, 257]. A poultice of the roots has been applied to sores that are hard to heal[257]. The leaves are analgesic and febrifuge[257]. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of croup, nosebleeds, colds, fevers, headaches etc[222]. A poultice of the leaves has been applied to the head to relieve the pain of headaches[257]. This species is considered to have similar medicinal activity to L. inflata, but in a milder form[222]. It was seldom if ever used[222]. The plant is used to make a homeopathic remedy[4]. The report does not say which part of the plant is used, nor what it treats.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Specimen, Woodland garden. Requires a deep rich soil and plenty of moisture[1, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in standing water though is not then so long lived[200]. Succeeds in full sun or light shade[200]. Requires protection from the wind[200]. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -25°c[187], though they can be excited into premature growth in mild winter areas and are then more susceptible to frost damage[200]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[200]. Basal cuttings in spring[1]. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in moist sand, it forms roots at the nodes[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lobelia dortmannaWater Lobelia, Dortmann's cardinalflowerPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNMWe02 
Lobelia inflataIndian TobaccoAnnual0.6 -  LMHSNM031
Lobelia radicans Perennial0.2 -  LMHSNMWe03 
Lobelia sessilifolia Perennial0.7 4-8  LMHSNMWe10 
Lobelia siphiliticaGreat Blue Lobelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Big Blue Lobelia, Great LobeliaPerennial1.0 5-9 MLMHSNMWe02 
Lobelia spicataPale Spike, Palespike lobeliaPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNMWe01 
Lobelia tupaDevil's TobaccoPerennial2.0 7-10  LMHSNM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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