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Lobelia tupa
at Digging Dog

Lobelia tupa

<i>Lobelia tupa</i>

<i>Lobelia tupa</i>

<i>Lobelia tupa</i>

<i>Lobelia tupa</i>
Lobelia tupa


Cardinal Flower

In the dog days of August, just when the border is not looking so lively, this genus of colorful, stately selections rejuvenates the garden with spectacular leafy flowering spires, attracting crowds of eager hummingbirds. Perfect in meadow plantings, these sturdy herbaceous perennials appreciate a well drained site, a light winter mulching, rich, moist soils and partial shade in warm climates, except for Lobelia tupa and Lobelia laxiflora, which like it hot and on the dry side.

Lobelia tupa full sun

The lushly tropical color scheme of this somewhat tender Chilean native is alluring. Cloaked in broad and pointed, pale green, felted foliage, each soaring, purple-tinged stem is crowned with a large, tapering raceme of warm, brick-red blossoms. From the swollen base of each flower, a clawlike lower lip curls under and a tuft of gray stamens extends upward.

A perennial of nearly monumental stature, associate Lobelia tupa with Melianthus, Muhlenbergia and Morina longifolia for a dynamic melange of color and shape in the border.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 6'–8' high x 3'–4' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Lobelia tupa (P-1119)
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Other selections in this genus

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Current Staff’s Favorite Plant

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Our favorite plant this week: We love Astrantia major 'Lars' for it's ornate, richly colored blooms, that look great in an arrangement, either fresh or dried. Celebrating bright and cheerful colors, crowns of maroon bracts deliver gorgeous cherry red floral mounds with lighter pink centers. ĎLarsís blooms loll high above broad deep green lobed leaves on slender stems. This energetic Danish cultivar looks a bit like an overly exuberant Italian Flat Parsley and makes an unparalleled up-front cottage-style filler that is easy to care for.

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