Wildflowers of the United States

Home Journal Family Index - All States Photo Albums News About Privacy

Cardinal Flower, Scarlet Lobelia - Lobelia cardinalis


Family: Campanulaceae - Bellflower family Genus Common Name: Lobelia Native Status: NativePerennial Herb
Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower, Scarlet Lobelia. This is the showiest of our Lobelia species with the bright red blossoms. I originally thought the "Cardinal" name came from the bird, but according to Wildflowers Of Tennessee, The Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians, the name comes from the robes which Catholic Cardinals wear, which are this same color of crimson.

Journal Articles Referencing Lobelia

Leave comments on Lobelia cardinalis at this link.
Lobelia cardinalis

Distribution of Lobelia cardinalis in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Search Our Database: Enter any portion of the Scientific, Common Name, or both.
Scientific name:
Common name:

Example: Enter "lob" in the common name field and you'll get all our species that have "lobelia" in the common name, as well as "sharp-lobed hepatica".

Do a general Google search of the entire site:



Follow on Twitter
Follow USWildflowers on Twitter








Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2009-September-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv)
Cardinal Flower blossom has the 5-lobed corolla typical of lobelias, with 2 lobes on the upper lip, and 3 on the lower, although the separation of the lobes are extreme in Lobelia cardinalis. The stamen are united into a single crimson tube, carried high above the rest of the flower.
Lobelia cardinalis

Site: Big Frog Mountain, Polk County, TN Date: 2004-August-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Cardinal Flower near Rough Creek.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lobelia cardinalis

Site: Big Frog Mountain, Polk County, TN Date: 2004-August-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Minolta Dimage Z2
Cardinal Flower near Rough Creek.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lobelia cardinalis

Site: Big Frog Mountain, Polk County, TN Date: 2004-August-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Minolta Dimage Z2
Cardinal Flower near Rough Creek.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lobelia cardinalis

Commercial / Cookie Notice

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state? Check here:



All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer