Fritzflohrreynolds, CC BY-SA 3.0
This beautiful woodland wildflower has showy, drooping, bell-like flowers that turn from red into yellow. Its lovely floral display, ease of growing, and overall charm make Red Columbine a great plant for the home garden. It is at its peak in spring when its dangling blooms offer ornamental interest and food for ruby-throated hummingbirds.
Red columbine may be found in nature on forest margins, riverbanks, coastlines, and ridges (see our featured image) since it flourishes in a range of soil conditions. Use it to bring spring colour to any berm, bed, or border in your yard. Its stunning crimson flowers often last about a month.
Quick Growing Guide
Botanical Name: Aquilegia canadensis
Also Called: Canada Columbine; American Columbine; Wild Columbine; Eastern Columbine
En français: Ancolie du Canada
Water: Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry
Red Columbine is one of the first plants to provide nectar in the spring for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, such as the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Short-tongued sweat bees collect pollen from the flowers, and bumblebees may also collect pollen for their larvae. The larvae of various insects feed on Red Columbine, including those of the Columbine Duskywing butterfly, the Columbine Borer moth, and leaf miner flies.
Caring for Red Columbine
Columbines typically do best in partial shade with rich, well-drained soil. However, this plant is also known to grow in full sun under drier conditions. Wide range of soil tolerance as long as drainage is good.
Freely self-seeds and will naturalize to form large colonies in optimum growing conditions. Remove flowering stems after bloom to encourage additional bloom. Keep soils uniformly moist after bloom to prolong attractive foliage appearance. When foliage depreciates, plants may be cut to the ground.
Companion plants include almost any spring flowering wildflower, such as blue forget-me-not, peonies, iris, yarrow, alliums, and roses for a vibrant, colourful garden.