Black Truffle Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' PPAF
A new selection of the native Cardinal Flower not to be missed by anyone who admires this splendid perennial, Black Truffle wows in the sunny garden with ebony foliage and brilliant red blooms. Standing up to deer, alluring to butterflies and bees, and determined to hold its midnight foliage tones through the worst summer heat and sun, Black Truffle is a must-have!
Black Truffle is a selection of a species native to the American northeast, and it is hardy from New England to the deep South, not to mention farther west. Expect it to billow up 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide, dense and beautifully branched, holding its flowering stems straight upright. Magnificent in the border, along the driveway, in the foundation, and as part of an accent planting near the birdbath or hummingbird station.
The show begins in spring on this vigorous, easy-to-grow beauty. The new foliage unfurls almost pure black, glossy and finely cut. It matures to a dark, shiny maroon for summer, darkening again a bit as the weather becomes colder in autumn. The flowers arise from midsummer through early fall, abundant and eye-catching, as red as stop signs in the sunny garden!
Perfect for rain gardens, near water features, alongside the creek or pond, or even near the leaky garden faucet, Black Truffle is simply the best dark-leafed Cardinal Flower, bar none. It was introduced by Peter Heus of West Virginia, and we don't expect to see its equal in the Lobelia family for some time! Do find a place for it. Zones 3-8.
|Zone||3 - 8|
|Bloom Season||Mid Summer - Early Fall|
|Plant Height||24 in - 3 ft|
|Plant Width||3 ft - 4 ft|
|Additional Characteristics||Easy Care Plants, Spring Foliage Changes, Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Flower, Free Bloomer, Hummingbird Lovers, Long Bloomers, Native|
|Foliage Color||Black, Burgundy, Purple|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained, Wet|
|Resistance||Cold Hardy, Deer Resistance, Disease Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Pest Resistant|
|Soil Tolerance||Clay, Normal, loamy, Poor, Sandy|
|Uses||Outdoor, Border, Containers, Cut Flowers, Foliage Interest|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
As the deer population has boomed and
food has become scarcer, they have become more aggressive. In some areas deer will
strip your garden bare, leaving nothing green or flowery behind. While there is no such thing as a completely deer-proof garden, there
are some effective things you can do to protect your garden from these
Use physical barriers
A High Fence
Deer can jump pretty high, but a fence higher than eight feet (higher on an up-slope) and flush with the ground will keep any deer out.
They are a much easier and less expensive solution. Deer generally will not try to jump electric fences, but will rather try to climb through the wires, receiving a deterring shock.
An even less extreme physical option is to put bird netting over your larger and more susceptible plants.
Plant Deer-resistant VarietiesHerbs, some conifers, and many flowers are some of the best deer-resistant plants. More fragrant plants will often deter predation. Planting just a few deer-resistant plants will limit grazing of your other plants. Remember, "deer-resistant" does not mean deer-proof. A hungry animal will eat just about anything.
Having a dog In the FamilyOwning a dog, especially a big dog will almost always keep deer from approaching your home. Just the scent of the dog will keep most deer away, and if your dog lives outside you will probably never see any deer.
For most gardeners, it is a combination of different solutions that works best. Every gardener has to find the solution that works best in their garden.
Set plants 12 inches or so apart. Choose a location in shade or partial shade; the soil should be moisture-retentive and high in organic content. Lobelias show to best effect when planted in large colonies.
Once established, lobelias will prosper and naturalize. Deadheading will encourage lateral blooming. A moisture-conserving summer mulch is valuable, as is a protective mulch in winter.
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