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Lobelia

Lobelia (loh-beel-ee-uh), cardinal flower; Campanulaceae Family. Perennials (and annuals) with showy flowers of irregular structure. Native Lobelia are on the preservation list of many states.

Lobelia grows well in rich, organic, medium to wet soils. The perfect plant for damp locations such as near ponds or low-lying areas, Lobelia will easily adapt to 'wet feet', but can tolerate well-drained soils with constant moisture. Divide clumps in spring as needed. Prune in the spring instead of the fall, as the foliage will help protect the root zone in the winter. Mulch is also recommended.

Native to much of North America, naturally occurring as far north as New Brunswick, south to Florida, and west to Texas in moist locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps and in low wooded areas. Lobelia may self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Attributes: bog plant, border plant, cut flower, and mass plantings. Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds. Deer and rabbit resistant.

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