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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cardinal Flower

The common name of this plant alludes to the bright red robes worn by the Roman Catholic Cardinals.  The plant, Lobelia cardinalis, is a great addition to any damp or wooded garden area.  If you are always trying to attract hummingbirds to your  yard, this plant depends on hummingbirds for pollination.  It can be easily propagated from either seed, or sticking old stems in the ground.  The main catch with the plant is that it does not really like competition so you will typically find it growing where not too much else wants to grown.  If you plant it in your garden, the best way to keep it is to take a small hand rake and disturb the soil around where you planted the plant to eliminate it's competition.  

It can grow from 1'-6' in height and is quite showy.  This plant is looking for fairly moist or wet soil to flourish.  Here is a picture of cardinal flower that I found growing along the side of a creek today.  It was quite a pleasant surprise.  I apologize for the slightly grainy picture, the only camera I had was the one on my phone...

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