Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, may be the only native plant that offers us northerners a sight of true red. This striking plant has been blooming along river banks in Downeast Maine for the past few weeks.

Cardinal Flower (1)
Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis

Without a paddle or a scramble down a river bank, this plant is much too easy to miss! As are the hummingbirds that frequent the deep red flowers.

Hummingbird with Cardinal Flower
Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird approaching Cardinal Flower

Grab a paddle and a canoe and find some! It’s worth it.

Cardinal Flower (2)