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Gardening How-to Articles

Cardinal Flower—Spectacular Scarlet Blossoms That Hummingbirds Adore

Dr. Cathy Donaldson started her first wildflower garden in the tenth grade. While studying for the state biology exam, she asked her teacher, "What is a Solomon's seal?" The next day her teacher brought in a bare-root Solomon's seal to show her that the basis for the plant name was its segmented root system that resembled a signet seal. Cathy was duly impressed, took it home and planted it in the yard, and was hooked on growing wildflowers. Now, Cathy fondly watches over more than 100 different species of wildflowers in the woodlands around her home near Knoxville, Tennessee, struggling all the while to discourage the deer from eating the tops off the yellow trilliums. She is editor and publisher of Trillium Trails, a bimonthly newsletter on wildflowers and native plants. For information, write Cathy at P.O. Box 23271, Knoxville, TN 37933-1271, or e-mail [email protected].


  • Judi Scott August 20, 2013

    I have been growing cardinal flowers from seed for over a decade. I recently spotted a variegated cardinal flower. Would this be a specimen I should try to propagate?

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