Well, folks, it’s been a few years since this old squirrel has seen a good stand of Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinals. But I did this week.
Is that a pretty sight, or what? This of course, was down by the pond. Cardinal Flower is one of those plants that likes its feet–well, its roots–wet.
You humans like it for the red flowers, and so do the insects and hummingbirds. Makes it easy to spot. However, pretty much only the hummingbirds are successful at getting the nectar from a Cardinal flower–or any of the Lobelia family for that matter.
Might be hard for you to tell, but this type of flower is one Miz Flora calls ‘tubular.’ Among all those fancy bits of petal, is a backend that is so long that it takes a hummingbird tongue to reach the nectar. Some of the buds there at the top are a sample of that distance.
This is a mighty beautiful plant, so much so that it has been picked to the point of disappearing. Please, if not for your friend Ol’ Wally here but also for the hummingbirds, admire it with photos.