The attractive cardinal flower is now in bloom throughout the county. The cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinals) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows in damp, well-drained sites like stream banks, and at the edge of ponds and wetlands. This vibrant red flower is a favorite of hummingbirds; its nectar is rich in nutrients, which helps provide the hummingbird with energy to begin its long migration to warmer surroundings in the fall of the year. The cardinal follower is found throughout the United States, but is more common in the northern part of the country. Cardinal flowers are popular ornamentals, and are often used in butterfly gardens. This plant needs plenty of moisture and will not survive long under dry conditions.