Often called America's most vivid wildflower, this very famous perennial plant of great beauty has been seen by few, since it blooms during summer, not spring, like most of its woodland companions. The flowers are orchid-like, up and down the tall 3 to 4-ft. stems. They often put on a dazzling show in shady wet woods, and many a hiker has been startled by coming onto a colony in brilliant bloom in the mid or late-summer woods. Because of its beauty, Cardinal Flower is often picked in the wild, and has become rare in some places. This plant likes moist soils, takes full sun in northern climates and part shade in warmer areas. Great Hummingbird flower. 24-48 inches tall. USDA zones 3-9.