Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Cardinal Flower
Lobelia laxiflora

Family: Campanulaceae (kam-pan-yew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lobelia (low-BEE-lee-a) (Info)
Species: laxiflora (laks-ih-FLO-ruh) (Info)

Synonym:Lobelia mexicana

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ClimbTheMtns On Jul 30, 2013, ClimbTheMtns from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

I'm on the boarder of Neutral to Positive. As others have stated, the hummingbirds love this plant, however, if you don't control it, it'll spread and spread and spread. Mine is over 4' in circumference at about 4-5 years old. Dies back in our Zone 9 Winter *Walnut Creek, CA*
It definitely flops over - that's just it's nature! Easily transplanted from runners and even self seeds a bit.

Positive stephenp On Jul 15, 2012, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Not my plant but in the local botanical gardens, they grow this against a south facing wall, sometimes it will stay evergreen, but most of the time, it will be herbaceous here, returning from the ground. However it flowers without fail every year, and the flowers are really quite wonderful, with very warm colours.

Excellent addition if the climate allows for it.

Neutral missdaphne On Apr 5, 2012, missdaphne from Fresno, CA wrote:

This plant thrives on neglect in my hot, dry garden in Fresno, Ca. I first encountered it in a semi-shady pine glade at my sister's in Pacific Grove where it surely received much more moisture and less sunlight. I took a little piece of it home and got it started in my yard where it's flourished for years. The hummingbirds love it and I like the color. My only ambivalence, hence the neutral rating, is prompted by its rampant and floppy growth habit. No adjacent plant stands a chance without human intervention.
This is not a tidy, little plant.

Positive Anniesfollies On Jul 5, 2011, Anniesfollies from Carlsbad, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

The hummingbirds love this plant, as do I. The bright orange flowers add great color to the garden and it blooms prolifically almost year round. It is in the middle of an island planted with succulents and drought tolerant shrubs and takes the midday hot sun well with a minimum amount of water. However, it is a very vigorous grower and takes constant pruning to keep it from covering up other plants. Mine looks much wider than those in the Dave's Garden Images and it definately would be much to tight in the 9-12" spacing listed. Am I giving it too much water, or is this the nature of this plant? It has had no fertilizer since it was planted two years ago. I'm thinking of moving it somewhere where it won't interfere with other plants and replacing it with a 'Tiny Mouse' Cuphea, but thought I'd check with others first.

Positive otter47 On Apr 14, 2010, otter47 from Livermore, CA wrote:

This lobelia is very different from the more familiar edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus) and the taller perennial species (L. cardinalis, L. siphilicita and hybrids of these), all of which like moist soil. Lobelia laxiflora thrives in my front yard that faces the hot southwestern sun with only occasional watering in the summer. I live in Livermore, CA, which has some of the warmest summertime temperatures in the Bay Area.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Brentwood, California
Carlsbad, California
Fresno, California
Livermore, California
Los Angeles, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Mission Viejo, California
Riverside, California
Roseville, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Cruz, California
Simi Valley, California
Eustis, Florida
Mcdonough, Georgia
Bossier City, Louisiana
Austin, Texas (3 reports)

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