The bright red flowers of this North American herbaceous perennial will light up dark, moist areas of the garden for 4-6 weeks from late summer into fall .  The plants  are particularly attractive on stream and river banks, pond edges, marshes and swamps and can be used in rain gardens.   Humming birds and butterflies find the two-lipped flowers a good source of food and add color and movement as they fly from plant to plant.  The dark green leaves are carried on unranched stems and provide and attractive foil for the clusters of red flowers.  Cultivars  are available that vary primarily in color.  Plant are low maintenance and have few pests and diseases.  Although the plants are short lived they frequently self seed but are not aggressive or invasive.  Photo Credit Wikipedia

Cardinal plant growing in Florida swamp

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Height: 2-4′ H

Bloom Color: Bright red

Bloom Time: Late summer into fall

Light: Full sun to partial shade; needs some shade in hot climates

Soil: Rich, humusy, moist to wet; can not dry out

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen