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Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' (cardinal flower)

Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' PP25687

cardinal flower

Wonderful in the perennial border and perfect for rain gardens, this cardinal flower is sure to stand out with its dramatic, dark chocolatey-purple foliage and bold red flowers. Superior to other dark-foliaged Lobelias on the market, 'Black Truffle' holds this deep color throughout the growing season. A magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies all summer, but deer tend to leave it alone. Introduced by Peter Heus and brought to market by Plants Nouveau.

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3-4 Feet


2-3 Feet


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

cardinal flower Interesting Notes

Never, has a true, native cardinal flower been available with such deep, dark foliage and bright red flowers. The combination is stunning! We are happy to be working with native plantsman, extraordinaire, Peter Heus from West Virginia on this exciting new introduction. Black Truffle was selected for its nearly black foliage and bushy, upright habit. It’s a hummingbird magnet and so much more. If you’ve ever dreamed of a perennial coleus – this plant is your dream come true.

The foliage emerges nearly black with an oil-slick looking sheen to it. As the summer months go on and the heat turns up, the foliage turns shiny maroon and stays that way until the cardinal red flowers appear. The foliage lasts from May to a hard frost and will give you months of enjoyment as the hummingbirds and butterflies frequent it often. - Plants Nouveau

Found throughout the Americas, cardinal flower occurs and in other locations with rich soil that is acidic to neutral and in filtered shade to full sun. While not a true perennial, Lobelia cardinalis propagates itself by offsets from axils at the basal foliage which form their own roots. When placed in a suitable site, cardinal flower will happily self-sow from seed.

Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Cardinal flower performs best with consistent moisture – in areas where drier conditions may occur, mulching is encouraged. It is a lovely plant to be used en masse in a border or in a wildlife, hummingbird, butterfly or water garden. This plant supports ruby-throated hummingbirds, swallowtail butterflies, and bumblebees that are able to pierce the corollas for nectar.

Good Substitutions

great blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica
cardinal flower Lobelia cardinalis

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Bioretention/Rain Garden
Wetland Indicator Status
Falcutative Wetland (FACW)
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
For Animals
Caution: Toxic
Native to North America
Ornamental Foliage
Propagation Type
Tissue culture