SINNINGIA CARDINALIS (CARDINAL FLOWER) is a COMPACT PLANT with green velvety leaves and a silvery hair-covering on whole parts. It GROWS FROM TUBERS and HAS A PERIOD OF DORMANCY AFTER GROWTH AND FLOWERING. This species CAN GROW FAIRLY LARGE, with many brilliant red hooded FLOWERS PRODUCED AT ONE TIME.
SINNINGIA CARDINALIS (CARDINAL FLOWER) is a rounded often depressed-globose, 6 or more cm in diameter with light brown bark. SEEDLINGS FORM A TUBER AT THE BASE OF THE STEM VERY EARLY IN ITS DEVELOPMENT. When the tuber FIRST FORMS, IT IS GREEN, AND ONLY TURNS BROWN as it develops. STEM ASCEND IN LESS THAN 30 cm tall from the tuber, pale green and TOMENTOSE.
ITS LEAVES ARE ABOUT 4-5 pairs per stem, decussate, broad, ovate to heart-shaped up 5-20 cm long and 4-15 cm wide, upper face apple-green to emerald-green with dark green about the veins, lower face paler, soft velvety, covered with dense short silvery hairy, margin crenate. PETIOLES 1-6 cm long green or reddish.
While its FLOWERS are ONE TO SEVERAL IN TERMINAL CLUSTERS ON SHORT PEDUNCLES IN AXIS OF UPPER LEAVES, about 5 cm long tubular, bright red, calyx lobes reflexes at the apex with the upper two corolla lobes prominently extended and much longer than the lower three lobes, presumably to assist in transfer of pollen to the head of the hummingbird and corolla tube laterally compressed. PEDICEL 2-5 cm long with red hair-covering. FILAMENTS up to 6 cm long, red and hairy-velvety, anthers coherent in a disc, style up to 6 cm long pinkish SLIGHTLY EXERTED.
MORE TO KNOW ABOUT SINNINGIA CARDINALIS (CARDINAL FLOWER)
>BLOOMING SEASON: Flowers SEVERAL TIMES A YEAR mainly in LATE SUMMER AND AUTUMN.
>It also has a FRUIT, an OVOIDAL CAPSULES with persistent style.
CULTIVATION AND PROPAGATION
SINNINGIA CARDINALIS has a dormant period after flowering (WINTER REST) and comes into growth in EARLY SPRING. After a period of dormancy the tuber will send up NEW GROWTH AND THE CYCLE WILL REPEAT. SOME CULTIVARS, can be induced to remain in ALMOST PERPETUAL GROWTH, with NO PERIOD OF FULL DORMANCY. Others may go dormant, and never “break dormancy”, or begin new growth. But MOST PLANTS will produce NEW AND BETTER GROWTH after a period of dormant inactivity.
The soil that will be used must be a LIME FREE SOIL that RETAINS WATER YET DRAINS WELL with a LITTLE ADDED PUMICE WILL SUFFICE. Also, another thing to remember, you SHOULD ALWAYS use a pot WITH A HOLE AND PROVIDE A GOOD DRAINAGE.
IN WATERING THE PLANT, you SHOULD DRENCH THE SOIL AND LET IT BECOME MODERATELY DRY BETWEEN WATERING WHEN IT IS IN WINTER OR DORMANT MUST BE KEPT VERY MUCH ON THE DRY SIDE. Perpetually WET SOIL may RESULT IN ROTTING OF THE TUBER, while DRY CONDITIONS WILL USUALLY INDUCE PREMATURE DORMANCY.
In FERTILIZATION, it NEEDS A REGULAR LIGHT FERTILIZATION DURING GROWING SEASON INCLUDING ALL MICRO NUTRIENTS AND TRACE ELEMENTS OR SLOW RELEASE FERTILIZER AT THE RATE OF ¼ THE DOSE INDICATE IN THE LABEL. However, some of the more robust cultivars will RESPOND FAVORABLY to a more concentrated solution, and some of the smaller cultivars need VERY LITTLE FEEDING.
In EXPOSURE, it requires BRIGHT CONDITIONS, but NOT SUN AND CAN BE GROWN eventually under bright fluorescent lights or in a GREENHOUSE and many tolerate windowsill conditions if humidity can be kept up and bright light provided WITHOUT TOO MUCH DIRECT SUN.
This kind of plant is PRONE TO MEALY BUGS. ALWAYS inspect any new plant for pests before introducing it to your home or greenhouse.
SINNINGIA CARDINALIS (CARDINAL FLOWER) CARE
- Bright light with no direct sun.
- Keep at about 70°F/21°C during the growing period; 50°F/10°C or less when the tubers are dormant.
- Water sparingly after potting until growth is evident, then keep the medium constantly moist until flowering has finished.
- Gradually reduce watering as the stems die back, and keep the tubers dry while dormant.
- Apply a high- potash liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from the time flower buds form until the leaves die down.