Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in my garden.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in my garden.

The Red Columbine is so graceful and so lovely. I took this photograph in my garden. The late afternoon sun was sinking in the sky and the soft light illuminated the form of the blossom.

I was first attracted to this plant when I saw a stand of yellow Columbine growing in the shade of a house here in Philadelphia. I wanted to grow the beautiful hanging flowers in my own garden.

In my garden, it is among the earliest bloomers. The hanging blossoms attract hummingbirds to the sweet nectar within. Long-tongued hummingbirds and bees are it’s pollinators. Red Columbine blooms from March to July, which is a good long time for a plant.

This native plant looks delicate but is quite hardy and can live 2-5 years. I have seen it growing out of what seems to be solid rock.

The seeds of the plant probably lodged in a pocket of soil and just start growing. The plant readily re-seeds. So, if you plant it in a good spot it may drop seeds for many years and a stand of the plants may live for a long time, multiplying and spreading.

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in my garden.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in my garden.

Red Columbine is native to eastern and central North America.  It is endangered in Florida. The plant can be found in rich, moist woods to rocky outcroppings.

The species which is pictured here has naturally red and yellow flowers. The garden cultivars focus on changing the shades of yellow and red. It is easily found in garden centers and even big box home improvement stores.

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