Cardinal flower

Lobelia cardinalis L. a native perennial of the Campanulaceae (Bellflower) family, is commonly known as Cardinal flower, due to its usually being found in the wild with red blooms. A daintier cousin of the Great Blue Lobelia, it grows slowly during the spring, eventually reaching 1 to (supposedly) 6 feet tall, with delicate but colorful blooms appearing in late summer at the end of long stems. It favors dappled sunlight to fairly shady spots, appreciates water and tolerates occasional flooding; the specimen shown here lives in a relatively moist back corner of my yard that receives almost no direct sunlight during the growing season. The full red variety, which relies on pollinators such as hummingbirds attracted to its color, can be hard to find in greenhouses and nurseries; often you'll find cultivars such as this pink variety shown, or cardinalis-siphilitica hybrids.