Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cardinal Flower

The hardy Lobelias are excellent, very attractive perennials for partial shade ( also sun tolerant ) on moist, fertile soil and are not usually eaten by deer but loved by Hummingbirds. Unless noted, the following are hardy from zones 3 to 8. In wooded areas, remove fallen tree leaves quickly in autum; rosettes will die if covered by leaves in fall and winter. Pest and disease problems are very rare.
Propagation can be from division or seed sown immediately upon ripening. Lobelia cardinalis and its cultivars are also easy to root from cuttings, even in water on the window sill.

* photo taken on Sep 25 2013 in Howard Co., MD


Lobelia cardinalis ( Cardinal Flower )
A rhizomatous, clumping perennial up to 4 x 2 or rarely 7 x 3.5 feet; the Cardinal Flower is native to streambanks, marshlands and wooded swamps in eastern North America ( from southeastern Minnesota to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Tobermory, Ontario to Haliburton, Ontario to to New Brunswick; south to eastern Texas to Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was somewhat common at Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands and the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It was uncommon to rare in Detroit at that time. It looks especially planted along the woodland edge.
The toothed, lance-shape or oblong leaves are up to 8 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is bright green, later turning to deep green.
The basal foliage can be semi-evergreen in sufficiently mild climates.
The stems are purplish and the flowers stalks bear intense scarlet-red flowers, up to 2 inches in size, over a long period from July to September ( often even into October ). The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Easy to grow and hardy zones 2 to 9 in full sun to partial shade; the Cardinal Flower loves moist and even wet soil. The offsets can be split off to form new plants.

* photo taken on July 2004 @ Tyler Arboretum near Philly

* photo taken on Aug 2 2011 in Luzerne Co., PA

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD




* photos taken on Aug 7 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Aug 8 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 2 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 13 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 25 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Alba'
Pure white flowers

'Black Truffle'
An introduction from Plants Nouveau, it is similar to the species except for having blackish-purple foliage that turns deep reddish-purple during summer.
The scarlet-red flowers are borne mid to late summer.

* photo taken on May 17 2013 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photos taken on Aug 29 2013 in Clarksville, MD

* photos taken on May 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2014 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on July 5 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 8 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jul 12 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Cotton Candy'
Pinkish white blooms

'Eco Pink Flare'
Reaches up to 3 feet in height with green foliage contrasting light pink flowers in late summer.

'Fried Green Tomatoes'
A 2009 introduction from Plants Nouveau that originated from a seedling batch grown by Quality Growers nursery in Pennsylvania. A very vigorous grower, it has foliage that emerges maroon red in spring and turns to deep olive green above and maroon below in summer.
The vivid scarlet red flowers in summer beginning late June attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The blooms can last over a season up to 12 weeks or more. A single plant may produce up to 30 stalks.
Hardy zones 4 to 8, and tolerates wet and severe winters in the Midwest.

* photo taken on April 27 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 11 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 2 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Monet Moment'
Extremely vigorous, reaching up to 3 feet with masses of immense rosey-pink flowers.

'Rosea'
Rose-pink blooms

'Summit Snow'
Bright pure white blooms.

Lobelia erinus ( Annual Lobelia )
A moderate growing annual trailing plaint, reaching up to 10 inches x 1.5 feet.
The foliage is deep green. The flowers are borne throughout the summer, often until autumn frosts. The cultivars 'Blue Moon and 'Sapphire' have the most intense, mid blue flowers. 'Alba' has white flowers and 'Crystal Palade' has pink flowers. They are great for hanging baskets and trailing over walls.
It prefers partial shade on fertile, acidic to neutral, well drained soil that is consistently moist. Use an organic mulch to keep soil cool and moist. Slugs may be a problem and can be treated by sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the soil around the plants.

* photo taken on May 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 22 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 29 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 20 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photo taken on Jun 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jul 12 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 12 2016 in Columbia, MD


Lobelia x gerardii
Hybrids between Lobelia cardinalis & L. siphilirica.

'Vedrariensis'
Reaches up to 5 x 2 feet with deep green, elliptical leaves, up to 6 inches in length, and deep lavender-purple flowers from late summer into fall. The foliage often turns red during autumn.
Hardy north to zone 5

Lobelia x hybrida
Generally hardy zones 5 to 8 and with leaves up to 7 inches in length that are usually copper tinted to red. Plants have a much better winter survival rate with a winter mulch in zones 5, 6 and 7. These hybrids bloom over a long season and make excellent bedding perennials thus replacing annuals.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Compliment Series'
Reaching up to 2.5 ( rarely 3 ) feet with bright green foliage and flowers coming in shades of scarlet, deep red or blue.

* photo taken on July 14 2013 in Harford Co., MD


'Dark Crusader'
Reaching up to 3 x 1.5 feet with dark purple foliage contrasting with velvety, deep red flowers.

'Fan Series'
Dense and compact, reaching up to 2.5 x 2.5 feet with flowers coming in rose, scarlet and deep red.

* photo taken on June 22 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 15 2013 in Harford Co, MD

* photo taken on Sep 9 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 31 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'Flamingo'
Reaches up to 20 inches with mid green foliage contrasting with soft pink flowers from mid to late summer. Hardy north to zone 4.

'Gladys Lindley'
Vigorous, reaching up to 4 feet with green foliage and creamy white flowers borne mid-summer to mid-autumn.
Full sun to partial shade.

'Grape Knee-Hi'
A dwarf only reaching 2 x 2 feet with green foliage and deep grape-purple flowers over an extended season from mid summer to mid autumn. Sterile.
Hardy north to zone 6.

'La Fresco'
Reaches up to 3 feet with plum-purple color flowers. It looks amazing when combined with white flowering Lobelia.
Full sun to partial shade.

'Misty Morn'
Strong, vigorous and upright growing, reaching up to 3 x 1.5 feet with glowing, intense light purple flowers and dark foliage.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in sun or partial shade.

'Red Beauty'
Reaches up to 3 feet in height with showy intense deep red flowers in late summer.

'Rose Beacon'
Reaches up to 2.5 feet with intense bright rose-pink flowers.

'Royal Fuschia'
Reaches up to 3 feet with glowing, fluorescent, red-purple flowers on strong plants in mid and late summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun on rich, moist soil.

'Ruby Slippers'
Reaches up to 4 x 3.5 feet with intense deep red flowers over a long season lasting late summer into early autumn.
Extremely cold hardy, hardy zones 3 to 8.

'Tania'
Reaches up to 4 feet with magenta-purple flowers. Hardy north to zone 4.

'Wildwood Splendor'
Reaches up to 4 feet with intense bright purple flowers. Hardy north to zone 4.

Lobelia siphilitica ( Blue Cardinal Flower )
A fast growing, upright perennial, reaching up to 5 x 2 feet, that is native to moist open woods and swamps in eastern U.S. ( from northwest North Dakota to southern Manitoba to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Lions Head, Ontario to Brockville, Ontario to southern Maine; south to Kansas to Mississippi to North Carolina ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was common at Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands, the Ohio shore as well as Detroit during the 1800s.
The foliage is deciduous to semi-evergreen depending on climate. The toothed, ovate leaves, up to 9 x 3 inches, are hairy, bright green.
It bears dense spikes up to 30 inches long of clear bright blue flowers up to 2 inches wide all summer long, sometimes even lasting into mid-autumn. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Very easy to grow, it is tolerant of wet soil and clay. It produced offsets and can spread fast but is NOT invasive.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to full shade.

* photo taken on Aug 12 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on July 21 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 4 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo


'Alba'
Reaches up to 5 feet in height with pure white flowers.

'Lilac Candles'
A dwarf, only reaching 1.5 x 1.5 feeet with masses of large heads of attractive lilac flowers lasting over a long season in late summer. The foliage is lustrous deep green.

'White Candles'
A dwarf, only reaching 1.5 x 1.5 feeet with masses of large heads of attractive white flowers lasting over a long season in late summer. The foliage is lustrous deep green.

Lobelia splendens
Also called Lobelia fulgens. Has long purplish leaves up to 7 inches in length and deep red flowers ( each up to 1 inch in length ). Not as hardy as Lobelia cardinalis being only hardy north to zone 7.

'Queen Victoria'
Forms a clump quickly and reaches up to 5 x 4 feet.

* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Sep 25 2013 in Howard Co, MD

* photos taken on Oct 31 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 30 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 30 2015 in Columbia, MD


Lobelia tupa ( Devil's Tobacco )
A clumping perennial, reaching up to 8 x 3 ( rarely over 6 ) feet, that is native to Chile where it is considered a hullucinogen.
The felted foliage is gray-green. The leaves, up to 8 inches in length, are lance-shaped to ovate.
The intense scarlet-red flowers, up to 2.5 inches in length, are borne on upright spikes during early summer to mid-autumn. It blooms profusely and older clumps may have up to 50 flowering stems.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 ( thrives very well on the west coasts of North America as well as in milder parts of the Pacific Northwest ) in full sun to partial shade on moist, deep, fertile, well drained soil. It is moderately drought tolerant. Cut to ground during late autumn then mulch thickly to prevent damage to the crown from hard freezes. It is resistant to deer, insects and disease.

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