- a North American plant, Lobelia cardinalis, with showy red tubular flowers in an elongated cluster.
Origin of cardinal flower
An Americanism dating back to 1620–30; so called from its color
Also called scarlet lobelia.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cardinal flower
But when vivid color is wanted, what can surpass or equal our cardinal-flower?
It was a likely place for the cardinal-flower, but I could not find any.
Shall we measure all the out-of-doors by the linnet's song, the cardinal-flower's flame, and the hay-field's odor?Wild Life Near Home
Dallas Lore Sharp
The Western cardinal-flower quite closely resembles L. cardinalis of the East, differing from it in a few minor points only.The Wild Flowers of California: Their Names, Haunts, and Habits
Mary Elizabeth Parsons
Farther north, the cardinal-flower seems to fail, and the monarda takes its place, growing in similar localities.
- a campanulaceous plant, Lobelia cardinalis of E North America, that has brilliant scarlet, pink, or white flowers