Lobelia siphilitica 'Alba' White Cardinal Flower
Roger Dahlin's Propagation Project
I have included this page on our website as my father, Roger Dahlin has put a great deal of time and effort learning to propagate these beauties. I thought someone else might benefit by sharing his experiences.
Cultivation Information Lobelia siphilitica 'Alba'
Hardy Zone - 4- 9Soil - Moist and fertile
Family - Campanulaceae
Propagation Suggestions From Bill Cullina
The white version of cardinal flower is a recessive albino that pops up in populations once in a while. I have grown it from seed, but only get a few whites out of a batch of seed (the white seedlings lack any red/maroon pigment, so are easy to spot in the seed pan). Albino or alba forms are not protected or listed separately per se, as they are genetic varieties and not geographic varieties, but both the blue lobelia and cardinal flower have white forms. Cardinal flower also has a pink form that comes more easily from seed.
You can root lobelias from stem cuttings taken just before the first flower buds open. Lengths of stem with two leaves plus one leafless node below ground treated with rooting hormone root pretty well, and this is the best way to guarantee white plants (or other color morphs).
Best Wishes and hope that helps
BillBill CullinaActing Executive DirectorCoastal Maine Botanical GardensPO Box 234132 Botanical Gardens Dr.Boothbay, ME 04537