Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Showy Blossom - Cardinal Flower

We found a little nest of these bright blooms on our way to Maggie's hunting grounds. The photo doesn't even do it justice with its brilliant red against the green leaves.

It's called a Cardinal Flower and according to Stan Tekiela's "Wild Flowers of Wisconsin" they are found throughout the state, preferring wet, shade, along streams and wetlands. They are poor reproducers perhaps because they can only be pollinated by hummingbirds. Thank you, hummers, for keeping our little patch well pollinated.

I might add that there were several spikes like this one and they seem to be thriving in the cool, wet, swampy area where we found it. It's one of those "do not dig" wild ones that won't survive in a home garden, although cultivated varieties are available at garden centers.


Odie Langley said...

First I ever heard of the flower with the same name our state bird. Beautiful.

Wanda said...

I planted a cardinal flower this spring, bought it at a local greenhouse as a Native Wisconsin plant, the hummers loved it! I am hoping to add some more next spring. Now I have to keep a look out for them in the wild. They are stunning.