cardinal flower - ROM2004_1276_5


cardinal flower

Geography: Canada, Ontario
Date: Acquired by the Museum in 1995 AD
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomPlantae
    • PhylumMagnoliophyta
    • ClassMagnoliopsida
    • OrderAsterales
    • FamilyCampanulaceae
    • GenusLobelia
    • SpecificEpithetcardinalis
Object number: ROMBOT_IM_8155
Credit Line: Mary Ferguson, FPSA
Not on view
DescriptionThe cardinal-flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is named for its scarlet colour similar to a cardinal’s robes. It is found in moist places in eastern North America, including southern Ontario. The brilliant red flowers attract hummingbirds as pollinators, their long thin beaks reaching for nectar down to the base of the long narrow floral tube formed by the petals. Cardinal flowers have an interesting structure. The top end of the floral tube has two lips, which are deeply divided into lobes—three on the bottom lip and two on the top lip. The stamens also form a tube, the same colour as the floral tube, which protrudes between the lobes of the top lip. The style grows up within the stamen tube, forcing the pollen up ahead of it. The pollen is released before the style emerges and its stigma becomes receptive. In this way, the plant avoids self-pollination.
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