Cardinal flower is often thought of as a wetland plant, which it is, but it will tolerate very dry conditions temporarily. Also, the more moisture it gets, the more sun it can tolerate.
Bloom time (late summer) corresponds with hummingbird migration to Mexico for the winter, and they delight to stop by on their way.
There are several interesting cultivars available. If vivid red is what you like, there is ‘Arrabella’s Vision’. ‘Monet Moment’ has pink flowers, and ‘Angel’s Song’ has salmon and cream flowers. ‘Grape Knee High’ (a cross with L. siphilitica) is a dwarf with purple flowers.
But the species is beautiful just as it is.