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cardinal flower

a North American plant, Lobelia cardinalis, with showy red tubular flowers in an elongated cluster.
Also called scarlet lobelia.
Origin of cardinal flower
1620-30, Americanism; so called from its color Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cardinal-flower
Historical Examples
  • Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal-flower), apparently common, but out of bloom August, 1857.

    The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau
  • But when vivid color is wanted, what can surpass or equal our cardinal-flower?

    Riverby John Burroughs
  • It was a likely place for the cardinal-flower, but I could not find any.

    Riverby John Burroughs
  • Shall we measure all the out-of-doors by the linnet's song, the cardinal-flower's flame, and the hay-field's odor?

    Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
  • The Western cardinal-flower quite closely resembles L. cardinalis of the East, differing from it in a few minor points only.

  • Farther north, the cardinal-flower seems to fail, and the monarda takes its place, growing in similar localities.

    Riverby John Burroughs
  • In the afternoon they all plunged into the lake, Eva swimming like a cardinal-flower afloat.

British Dictionary definitions for cardinal-flower

cardinal flower

a campanulaceous plant, Lobelia cardinalis of E North America, that has brilliant scarlet, pink, or white flowers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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