P1050217

Lobelia cardinalis L.

Forb/herb/perennial

Native:  Threatened in Florida

Blooming:  September, October, red

Location:  (We do not identify locations of threatened and endangered species)

Standing like red-coated sentinels on the forest floor, these flowers are pollinated by  ruby-throated hummingbirds.  The spicebush swallowtail butterflies drink it’s nectar, but cannot penetrate deep enough to act as pollinators.  Bees can also be seen on the flowers.

The roots were used by native Americans for a variety of conditions and ailments including epilepsy, fever, sores, parasitic worms, typhoid, bronchial conditions, catarrh,rheumatism, swelling,  witchcraft and grieving sickness.   The plant contains alkaloids and has caused death in humans.

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