Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis
The Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, so-called because of its similarity to the bright red robes of Catholic cardinals, flames among the forest plants from May through October. Standing one to six feet tall, the bright red flowers bloom primarily along streams or in wet, moist areas. Interestingly, because the floral leaves emerge from an extremely narrow tube at the base, insects find it difficult to reach the pollen, leaving propagation of this plant to hummingbirds. The lower portion of the stem is lined with lance-shaped green leaves.