Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Cardinal-flower - Lobelia cardinalis   L.
Members of Campanulaceae:
Members of Lobelia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Campanulales » Family Campanulaceae
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DistributionThroughout the state; probably in all 100 counties.

This is a very widespread species across most of North America, ranging from eastern Canada south to central FL and CA.
AbundanceGenerally fairly common to common statewide, except rare to uncommon in the northeastern and far eastern counties.
HabitatThis is a wetland species of many habitats, usually in fairly rich and muddy sites. It is found along pond and lake shores, streamsides, marsh edges, and in openings of bottomlands and swamps.
See also Habitat Account for General Broadleaf Herbaceous Mires
PhenologyBlooms from July to October, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is one of the most conspicuous and beautiful of the state's wildflowers, known to all who venture outdoors. It is an erect herb, usually about 2-4 feet tall, mostly unbranched. The numerous alternate stem leaves are lanceolate to oblong, about 5-6 inches long and 1-2 inches wide, and barely serrated. The 5-6 inches long raceme at the end of the stalk contains numerous, crowded flowers, each deep red to crimson red (but not scarlet!), and about 1.5 inches long and tall from the front view. No further description is necessary; there is nothing remotely looking like the species in bloom, and practically no other color in nature (plant or animal) is as rich and deep red as the petals of this species.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None. Most references use two words with no hyphen, which is certainly fine, though the website prefers not to have the word "Flower" as a stand-alone word in a common name.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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USACE-empFACW link
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