August 11, 2021
Ben here with today's edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
Since we looked at a weird parasitic worm yesterday, it seems only fair that we highlight a pretty flower today. This is Lobelia cardinalis, better known as the cardinal flower!
Cardinal flower can be found from southeastern Canada down through the eastern and southwestern U.S., and it also continues down to Mexico, Central America, and northern Colombia. While it has a wide range, it can sometimes be difficult to find in the wild, mainly because it's so striking that people have a tendency to over-pick it.
The long, tubular flowers of this plant are difficult for many insects to navigate. As a result, this flower is mainly pollinated by hummingbirds! If you'd like to find cardinal flower out in the wild, check in wooded areas off the beaten path that remain reliably damp year-round. Additionally, you can grow these flowers in your garden if the conditions are right, and you might be able to find them for sale at a native plant nursery.
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!