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cardinal flower

a North American plant, Lobelia cardinalis, with showy red tubular flowers in an elongated cluster.
Also called scarlet lobelia.
Origin of cardinal flower
An Americanism dating back to 1620-30; so called from its color Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cardinal flower
Historical Examples
  • Yet in color it is as rich an orange as the petal of the cardinal flower is a rich scarlet.

    Under the Maples John Burroughs
  • Just one cardinal flower–that is all–under a shaft of sunlight in the woods.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires Walter Prichard Eaton
  • It is a splendid show of brilliant scarlet, the color of the cardinal flower and surpasses it in mass and profusion.

    Woodcraft Alan Douglas
  • The cardinal flower is the only flower more gaudy in red than this bee balm.

British Dictionary definitions for cardinal flower

cardinal flower

a campanulaceous plant, Lobelia cardinalis of E North America, that has brilliant scarlet, pink, or white flowers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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