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Aquilegia canadensis

Striking crimson flowers with yellow markings; likes some shade but doesn’t do well in too much.


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Aquilegia canadensis, commonly called Columbine or Eastern Red Columbine, is a native perennial spring forb (wildflower) which occurs in rocky woods, slopes, ledges and open areas. Features drooping, bell-like, 1-2″, red and yellow flowers.

Wildlife notes

Bumblebees and the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird visit the flowers for nectar; bumblebees may also collect pollen for their larvae. Short-tongued Halictid bees collect pollen from the flowers, but they are less effective at cross-pollination. The larvae of various insects feed on Wild Columbine, including those of Erynnis lucilius (Columbine Duskywing), Papaipema leucostigma (Borer Moth sp.), Pristophora aquiligae (Columbine Sawfly), and several Phytomyza spp. (Leaf Miner Flies). Because the foliage is toxic, it is little bothered by mammalian herbivores.

Forage notes

Livestock generally find this species to be palatable.

Landscaping notes

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Wide range of soil tolerance as long as drainage is good. The preference is light shade to partial sun, moist to dry conditions, and soil that is loamy, rocky, or slightly sandy. 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. Borders, cottage gardens, open shade gardens, woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Also, a good selection for a hummingbird garden.

Restoration notes

Habitats include rocky open woodlands, wooded slopes, sandy savannas, thinly wooded bluffs, partially shaded areas of cliffs, limestone glades, fens and bogs, openings in logged woodlands, and areas along railroad tracks. Occasional wildfires and other kinds of disturbance in wooded areas are probably beneficial in maintaining populations of this plant.

Videos About This Plant

To learn more about this plant, check out our videos about it and its uses.

Native Woodland Wildflowers

Additional information

Weight N/A

Full Sun to Part Shade


Dry, Average

Height Range

0 – 24"



Bloom Month


Color Family



Red with Yellow Markings

Specialty Uses

Hummingbird, Landscaping

Cattle Palatability


Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.