Growing Guide
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Columbine, Canada

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Wildflower

Also known as Wild columbine
Aquilegia canadensis
Ranunculaceae Family

One of the most beautiful of all North American wildflowers, this short-lived perennial combines airy, fernlike foliage with delicate blooms sporting red tepals and yellow petals ending in red spurs. Self-seeds readily.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Dislikes intense sunlight. Keep plants growing in sun moist.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
Prefers rich, moist but well-drained soil.

Hardiness zones:

  • 3 to 8
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Tends to be short-lived but reseeds readily.

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-spring
  • late spring
  • early summer

Flower color:

  • red
  • yellow

Bi-colored with yellow petals and red spurs.

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Shape in flower:

  • flower stalks with upright spikes
  • flower stalks with flowers hanging downward

Blooms dangle from erect, branching flower stems.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • aggressive - Self-seeds prolifically
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Native from Eastern Canada to southern and southwestern USA
Special uses:
  • cut flowers - Cut when just open, soak almost entirely in warm water for 1 hour.
  • dried flowers - The seed pods are attractive in dried arrangments.
  • wildflowers
  • naturalistic garden
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Collect seed from dried seed pods when they turn black and scatter where desired, or allow the plants to self-seed freely.

Can be divided in the spring, but the plants dislike disturbance and may take time to re-establish.

Maintenance and care:
Remove faded blooms to prevent self-seeding if not desired.

If foliage fades after flowering, cut the plants back to the ground.

Grow near other garden plants that will fill in potentially empty space when plants fade after blooming.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Leaf miners (Canada columbine is less susceptible than other species.)
Spider mites
Stem borers
Powdery mildew
Ascochyta leaf spot
Septoria leaf spot
Southern Blight
'Corbett' grows just 1 to 2 feet tall, has pale yellow blooms and dislikes heat.