Native Plants of the Week – Lobelias (Lobelia cardinalis, Lobelia puberula, Lobelia siphilitica)

Second-year plants in 1.25 quart pots – 3 plants for $10

Limit of 3 plants of each species/customer (up to 9 plants total)

ISF Flowers 08-28-17

Lobelia puberula

Our native Lobelias are a must for any native landscape.  The tubular flowers are designed for hummingbirds, bumblebees, and other insects with long tongues.  With bright red flowers, Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) is an absolute magnet for hummingbirds.  Lobelia puberula (downy lobelia) and Lobelia siphilitca (great blue lobelia) also attract hummingbirds; but have bluish-purple flowers.

All of these Lobelia species can flourish in a range of light conditions from full sun to partial shade; but they require moist soils.  If you don’t have a moist area, supplemental watering can be minimized by choosing a site with a fair amount of shade and mulching the plants well.  Lobelia siphilitica is the most shade-tolerant of the group.

Blooming time is slightly different for each species starting with great blue lobelia in the middle of the summer, cardinal flower in late summer, and downy lobelia in early fall.  Plant all three species and the hummingbirds will be happy for months.  If possible, plant these flowers where you can easily observe the activity they generate from inside the house.

For more pictures and information, consult “Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region” ( or the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (

Due to the pandemic, sales are by pre-order only with contact-free pick-up/payment.  To order, send an email to:

The complete plant list can be viewed here:…/RCE%20Plant%20List%202020.docx…

Stay safe.




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