Lobelia Cardinalis. Cardinal Flower is a perennial native to North America that reaches three to four feet in height. Spikes of scarlet flowers appear at the end of June and remain until autumn. Cardinal Flowers grow in full sun to partial shade and like moist soil. They are excellent to use near water features in clumps. In order for these seeds to germinate they must be stratified. Stratification can be accomplished by putting the seed in moist sand or other media and placing in storage. After the allowed time, sow the seeds outdoors or inside for later planting outside. Stratification can also be accomplished if the seeds are planted outdoors in the fall. This way the seed will be stratified naturally. After treatment, germination will occur in 15 to 20 days.
Queen Henrietta Maria of England supposedly laughed excessively on seeing the plant in 1629, saying their color reminded her of “Cardinal’s scarlet stockings", hence the name Cardinal Flower.
Heirloom seeds are collected from the gardens and grounds of George Washington's Mount Vernon and cleaned and packaged by hand.