Red Columbine (Aquilegia Canadense) is part of the buttercup family and can be found growing wild in most states situated east of the Rocky Mountains in a wide variety of landscapes. It is a favorite in hummingbird gardens since the blooms begin to show up in late spring when Ruby Throats are making their way back from their wintering grounds.
Blooms grow to about an inch and a half with striking red and yellow coloration. They can reach heights of 1-2 feet and are relatively low maintenance once they have established. Red Columbine can successfully grow in most lighting as long as it has sufficient moisture. Soil should be well-drained and moist for a plant to do its best, but it will tolerate many soil types.
Red Columbine is generally disease and pest resistant.
Foliage is light to bluish-green and contains three lobes. They grow in a mound around the base of the plant and then continue up each flower stem. Even without the bright flowers, this toothy foliage is quite attractive and adds stunning fall interest in your garden. If the moisture of the soil is ample, the foliage will remain green longer but will eventually turn yellow in the fall. Under certain conditions, the foliage may even turn shades of red or orange.
Red Columbine is the hardiest in zones 3 to 8. Its lifespan is about 3 to 5 years, but it regenerates itself readily by seed.
This Columbine will establish itself under the right conditions and is an ideal partner to wild geraniums and ginger in woodland or native gardens. Many gardeners consider these plants old fashioned and create beautiful cottage style gardens around them. They are also well-suited for border gardens and combined with spring bulbs and hostas in a shade garden.
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