Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

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  1.   1.  Description
    1.   1.1  Growth
    2.   1.2  Obtainment
  2.   2.  Uses
    1.   2.1  Medicinal
    2.   2.2  Toxicity
  3.   3.  More
  4.   4.  'Souls
Common Name Cardinal Flower
Latin Name Lobelia cardinalis
Icon(s) Flower Trellis
Click to view image

"Cardinal Flower"
By Barnes, Dr. Thomas G.
via Wikimedia Commons
Public domain

1.  Description

It is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows up to 1.2 m (4 ft) tall and is found in wet places, streambanks, and swamps. The leaves are up to 20 cm (8 in) long and 5 cm (2 in) broad, lanceolate to oval, with a toothed margin. The flowers are usually vibrant red (white and pink are also known), deeply five-lobed, up to 4 cm across; they are produced up to 70 cm (28 in) tall during the summer to fall.

1.1  Growth

This plant is easily propagated by dividing and spreading out the young plants which form around the older mature plants each year. Although the plant is generally considered a perennial any one plant may only live 7 to 10 years and then die. To ensure that your whole collection of cardinal flowers do not die off at the same time be sure to propagate some new plant lines using seeds at least every 4 years.

1.2  Obtainment

Common -- native and was often ornamentally cultivated.

2.  Uses

2.1  Medicinal

  • North American indigenous peoples used root tea for a number of intestinal ailments and syphilis.
  • Leaf teas were used by them for bronchial problems and colds. The Meskwaki people used it as part of an inhalant against catarrh.

2.2  Toxicity

As a member of the genus Lobelia, it is considered to be potentially toxic.

3.  More

4.  'Souls

  • Hey, did your character do something cool with this plant?
  • Or maybe your pack has it for trade?

Categories: Flora | Resources