Also called cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis Queen Victoria is a very striking plant, quite different from little blue bedding lobelias. It’s a clump-forming, often rather short-lived, herbaceous perennial with beautiful, beetroot-red, oblong leaves. In August and September, and into October, brilliant, five-petalled scarlet flowers appear at the end of stems, a gorgeous colour against the foliage. Lobelia Queen Victoria is wonderful in a tropical planting or a ‘hot’ border, and will also do well in a bog garden, and provides brilliant colour when other late perennials are beginning to go over. Not for colder areas unless it can be overwintered in a greenhouse, Lobelia Queen Victoria holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit.