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Lobelia cardinalis seedsLobelia cardinalis
Cardinal Flower
With strong associations to love magic in historical practice, the cardinal flower is a great addition to the witch's garden. The Iroquois made a wash of the brilliant red flowers for love spells (and to purify baskets), the Meskwaki used it in love magic, for ending quarrels, and to prevent divorce, and the Pawnee made the roots and flowers into love charms. I would not be surprised if some of its utility in love magic comes from how beloved it is by beautiful pollinators like swallowtail butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds. Oddly enough, the cardinal flower also has connections with death, as the Iroquois made it a component in treatments for grief and the Meskwaki sprinkled the leaves on graves. It was also considered protective: against witchcraft for the Iroquois, and against storms for the Meskwaki, for whom it was a non-smoked ceremonial tobacco (it actually contains an alkaloid related to nicotine). A native of North and Central Americas, cardinal flower gets its name from the red robes worn by Catholic cardinals, so consider using it for attaining favor with figures of authority. In the language of flowers, it stands for distinction. Cardinal flower is usually considered a Water herb, probably because it enjoys growing in watery or marshy areas; the Jemez people used it their Rain Dance. Cardinal flower is also known as red betty, water gladiole, red bay, bog sage, Indian pink, slinkweed, hog's physic. Top

Cardinal flower seedsHow to grow cardinal flower. These small seeds should be sown on the surface and gently pressed into moist planting medium. They can germinate in a few weeks at cool room temperature, or try outdoor treatment as more reliable. Grows in full sun (up North) to partial shade (in South) and blooms from mid summer to early fall. It likes rich soil, plenty of fertilizer, and being close to water, like around a pond. This magic herb gets 15-18"/60-90cm tall and 15-18"/38-45cm wide, but flowering stalks of older plants will be taller. Like many perennials, the first year it will form a rosette of leaves; the second year it will begin blooming. It's perennial from zone 2-9 (down to -50F/-46C, but not hardy in subtropical areas). It reproduces by seeds, but you can also divide the rootball to get more plants. Top

Lobelia cardinalis
Cardinal Flower
500 seeds $3.75



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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Divination
Rain Magic
Love Spells
Protection from the Dead & Witchcraft
Treatment of Grief
Elemental Magick (Water)

2015, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission