One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there, just like the Gray Birch, this plant definitely likes its roots wet.

Mystery #63

Give me your guesses!


This showy raceme–that’s from Miz Flora!–is Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis. Our blog’s plant expert also tells me Cardinal Flower likes its soil anywhere from moist to wet, making it the perfect plant for those drainage ditches Ol’ Wally is always trying to go natural with. Apparently a stem of it will grow roots quite freely, so if you want to get a second plant, bend the plant over, bury it in wet soil and stick a rock on it. Of course, then you have to hope a curious squirrel doesn’t come look to see what you’ve done.

Most bugs are confused by the long flowers, but hummingbirds aren’t. Cardinal Flower in the wild can be in short supply in some places–it’s so pretty it gets picked! I hope with a little free advertising here, we might see more of it in Virginia.


3 thoughts on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

  1. I knew it was cardinal flower but didn’t have time to put in my guess. I had just seen it along any sunny river spot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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