This spring, our friend and WBU customer Carol C. gave us a gift from her heart: she dug up and shared some Cardinal flower from her garden.
Cardinal flower, or Lobelia cardinalis is a perennial with beautiful red flowers. Their tubular shape makes them attractive to hummingbirds and as hummingbirds partake of the nectar, they serve as a pollinator for the plant.
Cardinal flower can tolerate sun as well as part- to full shade, but with our sandy soil, I thought it was best to plant it in mostly shade. It prefers moist soil (I have none!), so I added a good deal of organic material to the hole I dug, and I am watching it closely to make sure the plant doesn't dry out. It looks beautiful underneath the plum tree just off the corner of my front deck.
It did bloom this year, but between the shock of transplanting and the relatively dry summer, I'm assuming nectar production was minimal. I did see hummingbirds visit it occasionally, giving me an opportunity to share a picture or two with you.
And if you are lucky enough to have Cardinal flower in your yard, why don't you think about sharing some with a friend? That's the fun thing about perennials: you can share them and still never seem to run out!