Wild Columbine - Aquilegia Canadensis
Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a native North American perennial wildflower known by several common names, including Eastern red columbine, American columbine, and Canada columbine. It belongs to the Ranunculaceae family and is found in various parts of North America, including the eastern United States and Canada.
Wild columbine is known for its distinctive nodding and red- and yellow-spurred flowers, which resemble the shape of a bird in flight. These flowers are typically 1-2 inches long and have a unique and attractive appearance. The spurred shape of the flowers serves as a landing pad for pollinators, like hummingbirds and long-tongued bees, which are attracted to the nectar produced by the plant.
The plant's leaves are compound and deeply lobed, with a bluish-green color. Wild columbine can grow in various habitats, including open woodlands, rocky slopes, and meadows. It prefers well-drained, sandy, or loamy soils and can grow well in partial shade and full sun.
Wild Columbine for sale at Perennial Co Nursery.
Wild columbine is a favorite of gardeners and native plant enthusiasts, and it is sometimes cultivated for use in landscaping and gardens, where it attracts pollinators and adds a splash of color to the landscape. It is a short-lived perennial that readily self-seeds, making it a low-maintenance addition to naturalized areas. If you're interested in growing wild columbine in your garden, you can collect seeds from existing plants or purchase them from native plant nurseries.
In the wild, wild columbine is important in supporting native pollinators and wildlife. It is a valuable nectar source for hummingbirds and certain bees, and birds consume its seeds. Additionally, some Native American tribes historically used wild columbine for medicinal purposes.
Please note that when considering planting native species like wild columbine in your garden, it's essential to ensure they are sourced and grown responsibly to protect natural populations and maintain genetic diversity.
- Dig a hole that's the same depth as the container the plant is in and slightly wider to accommodate the root ball.
- Ensure the plant's crown is even with the soil surface.
- Backfill the hole with soil, patting it down gently to remove air pockets.
- Water newly planted wild columbine thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.
- Afterward, water the plant consistently, especially during drought periods, to keep the soil moist but not soaked. Wild columbine prefers slightly wet conditions.
- Apply a layer of mulch, such as pine needles or wood chips, around the bottom of the plant to help ensure soil moisture and suppress weeds.
- Wild columbine is a low-maintenance plant. It will readily self-seed, creating new plants, and can form attractive colonies.
- Deadhead spent blossoms if you want to prevent self-seeding, but allow some seed pods to mature to encourage new plants.
- In late fall or early spring, you can cut back the plant to the ground to encourage fresh growth.
- Pest and Disease Control:
- Wild columbine is generally not highly susceptible to pests or diseases, making it a relatively trouble-free plant. However, keeping the area around the plant clean can help prevent problems.