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Regional Picks: Alternatives to Invasives – Northeast

Fine Gardening - Issue 141

Invasive – Yellow Flag Iris

(Iris pseudacorus)



1. Cardinal Flower

Name: Lobelia cardinalis

USDA HardinessZones:: 2 to 8

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; prefers rich soil with good water retention

It’s no wonder that overpicking has made cardinal flower a rarity in some parts of the country. Its towering, late-summer blooms are irresistible, and their power to beckon hummingbirds is an added bonus. In the wild, this native grows near streams and likes its feet wet. When planted in moist, organic soil, cardinal flower will self-sow with vigor, freely sending up scarlet spires wherever it likes.


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