Last fall, I accidentally snapped off a cardinal flower plant at the ground level. This growing season I have been looking for it among day lilies. I found a clump of leaves, one of which I have taken a photo, in hopes that it may be the lost cardinal plant. I have looked online and there is a similarity to a young plant leaf. Can you tell me if, perchance, it might be the cardinal flower which has not had open light? I realize this is not much information.
If it might be my plant, I will dig it up and replant it.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.
It is difficult for me to say with 100% certainty that the leaf in your photo is that of cardinal flower, (Lobelia cardinalis).
The following description is from the Virginia Native Plant Society ” The lance-shaped to oblong leaves that alternate up these stems are 2-6″ long and have irregularly toothed edges. These deep green leaves often have a bronzy tint.”
The leaf in your photo does not appear to have a toothed margin nor does it appear to be lanceolate in shape. This is not to say that the plant in question could not be Lobelia cardinalis. It could be with little light that the leaf has modified itself to capture as much light as possible.
My suggestion would be to move the plant to a better location and then check the flower. Cardinal flowers grow best in a location with morning sun and afternoon shade, in moist, rich organic soil. How to grow Cardinal Flower