Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Emetic, expectorant and nervine[4, 61].

    The root is analgesic, anthelmintic, antispasmodic and stomachic[4, 61, 257]. A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of epilepsy, syphilis, typhoid, stomach aches, cramps, worms etc[222, 257]. A poultice of the roots has been applied to sores that are hard to heal[257].

    The leaves are analgesic and febrifuge[257]. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of croup, nosebleeds, colds, fevers, headaches etc[222]. A poultice of the leaves has been applied to the head to relieve the pain of headaches[257].

    This species is considered to have similar medicinal activity to L. inflata, but in a milder form[222]. It was seldom if ever used[222].

    The plant is used to make a homeopathic remedy[4]. The report does not say which part of the plant is used, nor what it treats.

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    The plant is potentially toxic, but the degree of toxicity is unknown[222]. It contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine[274]. he sap of the plant has been known to cause skin irritation[274].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[200]. Basal cuttings in spring[1]. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in moist sand, it forms roots at the nodes[200].
Requires a deep rich soil and plenty of moisture[1, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in standing water though is not then so long lived[200]. Succeeds in full sun or light shade[200]. Requires protection from the wind[200]. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -25¡c[187], though they can be excited into premature growth in mild winter areas and are then more susceptible to frost damage[200]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.
N. America – New Brunswick to Quebec, south to Florida and Texas.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.