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Natives of our woods, in bosky places we find two exquisite wild Lobelias, the Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, and the Great Lobelia, L. syphililica, a blue sort. Both sorts vary greatly in height, some growing 3 feet or 4 feet tall, other plants being hardly a foot tall. Some of the European catalogs list sorts of the Cardinal Flower which have bronze colored leaves, but these sorts are not seen in America. They bloom from July to September.
UTILIZE. They are at home in damp spots of the gardens, and along the waterside. – The Great Lobelia prefers wetter places than the Cardinal Flower. When grown in dry places, they suffer from drought; they often thrive in the ordinary garden soil, but are not as tall as in the wild places adapted to their culture. The Great Lobelia thrives in partial shade or sun but the Cardinal Flower is usually found in partial shade.
PROPAGATION. They grow readily from seed which is usually sown in the Fall, in which case the plants are wintered in a coldframe.