Today’s post is about one of my favorite wildflowers found in the swampy hardwood forests along the Gulf Coast – the cardinal flower. I was hiking through an area near Bristol, Florida called the “Garden of Eden Trail” when I spotted this super-vibrant beauty from about 200 yards.

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Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

The cardinal flower is an extremely beautiful member of the lobelia family native to most of the United States (excluding the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies states, and the Dakotas) and Eastern Canada. It is primarily found in somewhat wet soils, near marshes, streams, rivers, floodplains etc. and is such a vibrant red that it is easily spotted from a distance. This particularly large plant stood about five foot tall, and even though I found it growing in a depression of a dried-up creek, it still stood tall in the forest near the Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle on a very hot and sweltering summer day.
Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

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NORTH AMERICAN WILDFLOWERS GALLERY

                                                                                          

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Rich Leighton
March 26, 2017

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