Lobelia cardinalis
Family: Campanulaceae
cardinal-flower
Lobelia cardinalis image
Merel R. Black  
Etymology: Lobelia: after Matthias de l'Obel (1538-1616), a Flemish botanist; also written as Matthias von Lobel
Plants: erect, perennial, 2'-5' tall forb, usually unbranched
Leaves: thin, lance-like to oblong, toothed; lower leaves on a short stalk, upper leaves stalkless
Flowers: red, 5-parted, 1 1/2" long, irregularly-shaped, top lip 2-parted, lower lip 3-parted; inflorescence a 4"-16" spike-like cluster (raceme) with flowers on hairy stalks; blooms July-Sept.
Habitat: full to partial sun; moist to wet; meadows, woods, streambanks; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native