Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' with purple foliage and blooming red flowers.
Close-up of the purple colors in young Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' foliage.

Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' (Cardinal Flower)

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'Black Truffle' is a cultivar of cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, a native perennial wildflower known for its moisture loving properties and striking red flowers; the 'Black Truffle' cultivar is noted for its equally striking foliage, which is green tinged with dark purple and almost black hues. Cardinal flower is somewhat short-lived and clump-forming in nature, and its namesake flowers bloom from late spring into early autumn.

In landscape plantings, cardinal flower is easily grown in rich organic, medium to wet soils, and performs best in full sun or part shade. Since it is relatively moisture-loving in nature, Lobelia cardinalis has high water needs in the home garden once established, though it can be grown in a variety of locations; that said, cardinal flower still does best with well-draining soils, as sitting in consistently wet soil or standing water may result in root rot. This tendency for wet soils but well-draining texture makes it a great choice for rain gardens and embankments.

Native to Maryland, Native to U.S., and Native to Eastern Shore
Mature Plant Height: Medium: 30-48"
Sun (6+ hours) and Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Type: Wide Tolerance
Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, and Fall
Flower Color: Red
Foliage color: Green and Purple
Features: Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Attracts Pollinators, Fall Color, and Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths
Tolerances: Black Walnut Tolerant, Clay Soil Tolerant, Deer Tolerant, Rabbit Tolerant, Flood Tolerant, and Shade Tolerant
Garden Type: Pollinator Garden, Meadow, Rain Garden, Woodland Garden, and Wetland Restoration

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