Cardinalflower is a handsome wildflower known for it vibrant red (occasionally white or rosie pink) floral spikes on sturdy, upright stems three to four feet tall and occasionally taller. It is valued by gardeners not just for the deep scarlet color and relatively tall, erect form but also because it attracts hummingbirds to the garden. The flowers consist of long tubes, are not easily navigated by short-tongued insects and depend on the hummers and long-tongued butterflies for pollination. Cardinalflower is widely occurring in nature, found in wet or damp, sunny or mostly sunny habitats throughout the eastern US as well as south central states all the way to California. Curiously for such a widespread plant, is is regarded as finicky and short lived. This may be because, according to Cullina (Growing and Propagating Wildflowers) Lobelias are not true perennials since the flowering stem and its associated roots die after setting seed. They are perennial in effect only because new offsets grow from the axils of the lowermost leaves and quickly put down their own abundant white roots. For the gardener who understands this, Cardinalflower’s erect habit can lend late season height and stunning color to a pollinator garden, pondside, or damp woodland opening with rich, moist soil and full sun or partial sun, for many years. Recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.