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Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ah-kwih-LEE-jee-ah kan-ah-DEN-sis
Description

Wild Columbine is a native herbaceous perennial that is found in woodland habitats in shade to part shade. It may grow 3 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. The deeply lobed leaves are attractive and the red and yellow flowers mature in early spring and last about a month. They are showy and attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

Wild Columbine prefers partial shade conditions but will tolerate more sun with adequate moisture. It tolerates a variety of soil types as long as they are well-drained. Keep moist during the growing season and don't over-fertilize as this will cause abundant foliage production and decrease life expectancy. They will freely self-seed in the garden and bloom the second year.

Use this plant in naturalized areas, shady garden borders, or native/pollinator gardens. Once the flowers are spent it makes an attractive ground cover.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: This species has very good resistance to leaf miner. 

 

 VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Part Shade Garden Davidson County Demo Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Corbett’
    Dwarf with yellow flowers
  • ‘Little Lanterns’
    10" tall with blue-green foliage and red and yellow blooms
  • ‘Nana’
    Yellow flowers
  • ‘Pink Lanterns’
    Pink and white flowers
‘Corbett’, ‘Little Lanterns’, ‘Nana’, ‘Pink Lanterns’
Tags:
#hummingbirds#red#yellow#partial shade#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#spring flowers#apvg#ncemgva2018#food source#cpp#fire#medium flammability#bumblebees#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#naturalized area#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#Coastal FACU#HS302#apvg-p#butterflies#pollinators#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Corbett’
    Dwarf with yellow flowers
  • ‘Little Lanterns’
    10" tall with blue-green foliage and red and yellow blooms
  • ‘Nana’
    Yellow flowers
  • ‘Pink Lanterns’
    Pink and white flowers
‘Corbett’, ‘Little Lanterns’, ‘Nana’, ‘Pink Lanterns’
Tags:
#hummingbirds#red#yellow#partial shade#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#spring flowers#apvg#ncemgva2018#food source#cpp#fire#medium flammability#bumblebees#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#naturalized area#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#Coastal FACU#HS302#apvg-p#butterflies#pollinators#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aquilegia
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , QC , SK
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bumblebees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The seeds may be eaten by songbirds.  Deer resistant
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    5 pod-shaped follicles with long beaks that split open along one side to release the shiny black seeds. Displays from April to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    1-2 inch flowers appear singly or groups of 2-3, are drooping, spurred, and bell-like. Red and yellow flowers have 5 petals, 5 petal-like sepals, and strongly exerted stamens and styles. Its spurs point upward. Blooms from March to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are ternately compound (divided into groups of 3 leaflets). Each leaflet is up to 3" long and 2" across. Leaflets are oval with rounded lobes, basal and alternate on the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    stems are green to reddish-green and may or may not have hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Fairy Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer