Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, is a striking but irregular flower of mid to late summer. Medicinally, the Iroquois considered this plant one of the highest of medicinal plants and they used it to strengthen all other medicine. A common theme amongst the Iroquois, Meskwaki and Pawnee was the use of Cardinal Flower as a love medicine. It was either used as a wash, charm, or placed in another food to end quarrels, cause someone to fall in love, or to prevent divorce. The plant was also used as a ceremonial tobacco but it was not smoked. It was used to ward off storms and strewn onto graves.
Cardinal Flower Sources:
Audubon Guides Box Set – Birds, Tree, Wildflowers & Mammals. Computer Software.Green Mountain Digital. Version: 2.3. Web. Jul 10, 2014.
Felter, Harvey Wickes, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D. King’s American Dispensatory, Vol. 2. Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Company, 1905. pg. 1199-1205
Foster, Steven and James A. Duke. The Peterson Field Guide Series; A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. 2nd. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Print. pg. 207-209
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey. Cherokee Plants and Their Uses- A 400 Year History. North Carolina: Herald Publishing. 1975. Print. pg. 28
Herrick, James William. Iroquois Medical Botany. Ph.D. Thesis, New York: State University of New York, Albany 1977. Print. pg. 218
Moerman Daniel E., Native American Ethnobotany, Portland: Timber Press. 1998. Print. pg. 311-312
Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977. Print. pg. 52-53
United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Services. Web.