Plant Image
Oak Creek Cyn

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Lobelia cardinalis - cardinalflower

Synonyms: Lobelia fulgens, Lobelia splendens
Other Common Names: cardinal flower
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Campanulaceae

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Flowers and leaves
Oak Creek Cyn
Max Licher @
Plant - summer
Oak Creek Cyn
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Erect stemmed and unbranched, may have hairs on stems.  Alternate sessile to short stemmed leaves, blades narrow to ovate with pointed tips, margins lined with small, gland-tipped teeth. Red flowers on slender stalks.
Identification notes: Stems erect and unbranched, hairless to soft hairs; leaves alternate, stemless; blades oblong to ovate-lanceolate, margins lined with small, gland-tipped teeth. Flowers red and strongly 2-lipped; slender terminal spike-like clusters.
Height: 1 to 3 feet


Habitat Description: Found growing in small patches along streams and rivers. Its roots need to be wet and its flowers must have partial shade and some sunlight.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 3000 - 7500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Red     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jun - Oct
Description: Tall, open spike-like cluster, 12 to 24 inches long. Each flower, 1-1/2 inches wide, has 2 upper and 3 spreading lower petals that form a thin tube at its base. Flowers alternate on the stem with lower flowers opening before the upper.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Thin, narrow to ovate leaves, 2 to 6 inches long, margins lined with small, gland-tipped teeth. There may be hairs on stems.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Golden-brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: 10-ribbed and papery.
Seed Notes: Many seeds per capsule.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
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