These are beautiful, showy, bright red wildflowers that adore having wet feet. They need a lot of moisture to survive, and these plants, for example, are growing right at the edge of a brook.
Cardinal flowers bloom in August, sometimes lasting into September, and because of the shape of the flowers they depend upon hummingbirds for pollination. Insects find it difficult to get inside the blossoms, but I do hear that butterflies can negotiate them.
Over-picking makes these plants scare in some areas, and I would ask people to enjoy them where they grow. This picture was taken July 31, 2013 in Tylersport, Pennsylvania, USA
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Dedicated to our wonderful wildflowers!