Lobelia cardinalis L.
Family - Campanulaceae
Stems - To 1.2m tall, simple to branching above, glabrous to puberulent or retrorse strigose, carinate above, angled, purplish-green, herbaceous, with milky sap.
Leaves - Alternate, sessile above, petiolate below, reduced upward and at base. Petioles to +1cm long. Blades lanceolate to oblanceolate, typically glabrous to sparse hirsute or strigose, serrulate to denticulate, to 20cm long, 5cm wide, acute to acuminate. Margins often sinuous.
Inflorescence - A terminal raceme to 70cm long(tall). Each flower subtended by single foliaceous bract (reduced leaf). Pedicels to 5mm, puberulent to strigose.
Flowers - Corolla deep red (scarlet, crimson, vermilion), to +4cm long, resupinate, tubular, 5-lobed, fenestrate, glabrous to puberulent externally and internally. Stamens 5. Filaments red, united into a tube to +3cm long and surrounding style. Stigma 2-lobed. Calyx campanulate, small at anthesis but quickly enlarging to 1.5cm long, 5-lobed, 10-ribbed, greenish-purple, puberulent to strigose. Lobes up to 2.5cm long, +/-2mm broad, linear-attenuate.
Flowering - July - October.
Habitat - Wet ground, lake margins, streambanks, ditches.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is one
of the most striking species of the genus Lobelia.
The deep red flowers are easily noticed near bodies of water and in wet
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 7-31-02 and along the shores of the Current River, Shannon County, MO., 8-15-03.