Cardinal Flower is named for its beautiful scarlet red flowers which are an important nectar source for hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies. The flowering spikes open from the bottom to the top and bloom for several weeks. Cardinal flower is a showy plant great for the garden or wetland planting. Parent plants will not persist for more than a few years, but it is a prolific self-seeder and fast grower. As long as the tiny seeds can make soil contact, you will have a revolving colony of new red blooms each year. Its blossoms also make excellent cut flowers.