1. The Botanical Magazine
  2. The Botanical Magazine, Volume IX

Lobelia Cardinalis

Scarlet Lobelia
Class and Order
Syngenesia Monogamia
Generic Character
Cal. 5-fidus. Cor. 1-petala, irregularis. Caps. infera 2, s. 3-locularis.
Specific Character and Synonyms
LOBELIA cardinalis caule erecto, foliis lato-lanceolatis serratis, racemo terminali secundo. Linn. Syst. Veg. ed. 14. Murr. p. 801. Ait. Kew. v. 3. p. 284.
RAPUNTIUM galeatum virginianum, coccineo flore majore. Moris. Hist. 2. p. 466. s. 5. t. 5. f. 54.
TRACHELIUM Americarum flore ruberrimo, sive Planta Cardinalis. The rich crimson Cardinal's Flower. Park. Parad. p. 356. t. 355.

This species of Lobelia, so eminently distinguished for the richness of its scarlet blossoms, is a native of the colder as well as warmer parts of North-America. Parkinson, who cultivated it in 1629, informs us that he received plants of it from France for his garden, and that "it groweth neere the river of Canada, where the French plantation in America is seated."It is a hardy herbaceous plant, growing in favourable situations to the height of three or four feet; the main spike of flowers which terminates the stalk, is often a foot in length; by the time that most of its flowers are blown, side branches shoot out, and flower; so that the plant continues in bloom six weeks or two months: if the Autumn prove favourable, the plant with us produces plenty of seed in the open ground; to insure its ripening, some place pots of it, when blowing, in the greenhouse or stove.

Beautiful and hardy as this plant is, and long as it has been introduced to this country, we do not find it generally in gardens; we attribute this to its having, in a greater degree than many other plants, a partiality for a particular soil; in certain districts, where the soil is stiff and moist, it grows as freely as any weed, in other soils it is perpetually going off: it is also one of those plants whose roots require to be often parted; if this be done every Autumn, and they be planted in a stiff loam, the situation somewhat moist and shady, this very desirable plant may be had to grow and blossom in perfection.

It flowers from the latter end of July to October.

Is increased by parting its roots, by cuttings of the stalk and from seed.

320Lobelia Cardinalis
Lobelia Cardinalis
Scarlet Lobelia

Other species of the Lobelia genus