Lobelia ‘Monet Moment’ 1.75 stars
Flower Description and Bloom Time
One evaluator described the flowers as “red-pink starry clusters opening from bottom to top of a heavily clustered stem. Bloomed August through September.” Another noted the flowers were a nice, bright-medium pink.
Foliage Interest — Color and Texture
Plants ranged from nice green rosettes to tall upright sometimes floppy stems. Late spring frosts affected the growth. One evaluator liked the architectural features of the flower stems.
Habit and Growth Rate Observations
Clumps remained quite small at one site. At a second site they were about 24 inches tall and wide. The third site had plants that were only 3 to 4 inches tall and 6 to 8 inches wide. At two sites, plants lost their overall vigor.
Site Preference — Soil and Light
This cultivar prefers moist, well-drained soil and sun to part shade. The evaluation sites ranged from full sun to part shade, near a sump pump that offered some additional moisture and in one site that had no supplemental moisture.
Successes and Possible Drawbacks
Because lobelia prefers a moist site, plants should be sited in a low area, rain garden, or near a bird bath or pond. In addition, severe winter weather in 2013-14 may have contributed to the decline of plants in the trial.
Notes from Growers/Retailers
Cardinal flower is effective in moist areas of woodland/shade gardens, wet meadows or along streams or ponds and rain gardens. The flowers add late-summer bloom and height to borders as long as soils are kept uniformly moist. Plant companions include Joe Pye weed, swamp milkweed, black cohosh, bluestar amsonia, etc.
Parting “SHOT” — The overall evaluation results were Poor.
The plants were evaluated from 2013 to 2016 at three sites—Chicago’s northwestern and western suburbs and near the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Only four of the nine plants were alive at the end of the trial. Lobelia cardinalis tends to be a short-lived perennial which may benefit from division every two years.