Cardinal flower

These flowers have recently started to bloom along my creek, where they attract butterflies and especially hummingbirds to their brilliant red blossoms. In Peterson’s classic Field Guide to Wildflowers he said it was “America’s favorite” and it has a foreign audience as well, having been exported from Canada to France back in the mid 1620s, where it has since spread as a garden plant to many countries. Nathaniel Hawthorne, who seems to have a thing for the color scarlet, wrote the following about these flowers- “The world is made brighter and sunnier by flowers of such a hue … it arrays itself in this scarlet glory. It is a flower of thought and feeling, too; it seems to have its roots deep down in the hearts of those who gaze at it.”