Aquilegia canadensis*

Eastern columbine
Height is 15–90 cm (6–35 in)
Price Code: 
$5.50/qt.
Status: 
Limited Supply

Aquilegia canadensis (Canadian or Canada Columbine, Eastern Red Columbine, or Wild Columbine) is an herbaceous perennial native to woodland and rocky slopes in eastern North America,

Aquilegia canadensis is a native spring wildflower which occurs in rocky woods, slopes, ledges and open areas throughout the east. The drooping, bell-like, 1-2", red and yellow flowers (red sepals, yellow-limbed petals, 5 distinctive red spurs and a mass of bushy yellow stamens) and delicate, biternate foliage are delightful to behold. Foliage is somewhat suggestive of meadow rue (Thalictrum) and remains attractive throughout the summer as long as soils are kept moist. The lowers are attractive to hummingbirds.

It is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade in a wide range of soils as long as drainage is good. The species prefers rich, moist soils in light to moderate shade. It 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 declines, plants may be cut to the ground.

The genus name comes from the Latin word for eagle in reference to the flower’s five spurs which purportedly resemble an eagle’s talon.

This species has some resistance to leaf miner which often causes severe damage to the foliage of many other columbine species and hybrids.

Borders, cottage gardens, open shade gardens, woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Also a good selection for a hummingbird garden.

Adapted from: the Missouri Botanic Garden Website

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