- May Benefit & Attract: Hummingbirds
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.
- This bird-friendly native trees provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- All Audubon® branded trees are grown 100% Neonic-free by Bower & Branch, making these plants safer for the birds and safer for the environment.
- Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
- Ships in a plant-safe designed box
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
- Mature Height: 2-4' tall
- Mature Width: 1-2' wide
- Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
- Spacing: 1-2' apart
Why plant Audubon® Native Cardinal Flower?
Cardinal Flower will turn a dim, dank corner of your yard into your favorite summertime space. That’s when spikes of dazzling true-red flowers rise from the leafy rosettes, catching the eye of every hummingbird in the neighborhood. If you plant it, they will come! Grateful hummers will be sipping, swooping, careening, and carousing in your garden from dawn until dusk. Plant a whole swath of Cardinal Flower and encourage plants to reseed so there’s enough for everybody. The birds will get very territorial when they discover you have one of their favorite treats!
Cardinal Flower is a cherished native wildflower found in all regions of the U.S. except for the Pacific Northwest. You might see it if you hike near shady streams in summer. Please don’t pick it if you see it in the wild! Overcollecting has reduced its numbers. Cardinal Flower has a long history as a medicinal herb among some Native American tribes. In the past, it was used as a cure for cramps and typhoid, and it was even used as a love potion! We strongly discourage eating any part of it, though—Cardinal Flower is toxic when ingested (but you’d have to eat an awful lot of it to get sick).
How to use Audubon® Native Cardinal Flower in the landscape?
Besides attracting every hummingbird in the neighborhood, Cardinal Flower is also a magnet for butterflies. Large, showy swallowtails are especially fond of the luminous blossoms. At the same time, the toxic chemicals in the leaves keep deer and rabbits from munching on the foliage. Cardinal Flower attracts the kind of wildlife you want to see in your garden, but not the kind you don’t.
Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
Audubon is devoted to protecting birds and the places they need, while Bower & Branch is devoted to the growth of true native trees and plants–no cultivars or hybrids. Together, we strive to unite communities in conservation and inspire individuals to cultivate a better world for birds starting in their own backyards, balconies, or patios. By guiding and recommending trees and plants truly native and beneficial to your region, we can really start to make a difference.
What is the definition of Native?
“In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European colonization. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money.” – The National Audubon Society
Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program.
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Cardinal Flower
Steady moisture is key with Cardinal Flower. It does not take kindly to drying out. Mulch well, preferably with compost or leaf mold, to keep the roots cool and moist. Protection from the hot afternoon sun is also important, especially in warm climates. In cool northern regions, full sun may be an option. Cardinal Flower is not a long-lived Spirit, but plants reseed when happy, so provide the right conditions, and the planting will endure indefinitely. Cut plants back any time after they have cast their seed and before new growth resumes in the spring.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.