Aquilegia canadensis
Wild columbine

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Butterfly FriendlyDeer ResistantPart ShadeBird Friendly
DESCRIPTION
Wild columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Red flowers with yellow centers hang like drifts of softly illuminated lanterns in April and May. Excellent as a shady rock garden naturalizer, it also is quite content in average garden conditions. Occurs naturally in rich rocky woods, north-facing slopes, cliffs, ledges, pastures, and roadside banks. Native to all states east of the Rockies, except Louisiana.

BENEFITS
  • Attracts butterflies, bumblebees and hummingbirds
  • Flowers for an extended period of time in spring
  • Thrives in sun or shade; will self sow and naturalize
  • Finches and buntings eat the seed
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
NATIVE INFO

Native Range

Ledges, woods, and cliffs; Quebec to Manitoba south to Texas and Florida

USDA Distribution Map

 

Interesting Facts

 

Aquilegia canadensis is the larval host for the Columbine Duskywing butterfly (Erynnis lucilius). Pollinated by hummingbirds, which depend on Wild Columbine as an important source of early-season nectar. An old-fashioned garden plant, wild columbine has been cultivated in Europe and America since the mid-1600s.

 

GROWING TIPS

 

Thrives in part to full shade in any well-drained soil. Plants tolerate full sun if temperatures are cool, but they prefer partial shade. They may go dormant in mid-summer if stressed by heat or drought but will emerge again in late winter.

 

Mature Size: 2-3 ft. Tall x 1-1.5 ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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