Aquilegia canadensis

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"Wild Columbine" redirects here. For other plants called Wild Columbine, see Aquilegia.
Aquilegia canadensis
Wild Columbine.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aquilegia
Species: A. canadensis
Binomial name
Aquilegia canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis (Canadian or Canada columbine, Eastern red columbine, Wild columbine) is an herbaceous perennial native to woodland and rocky slopes in eastern North America, prized for its red and yellow flowers. It readily hybridizes with other species in the genus Aquilegia.


Height is 15–90 cm (6–35 in). Leaves are lobed and grouped in 3s, growing from the base and off the flowering stems. Flowers are 1-2 inches long and have yellow petals with a red spur and red sepals. They appear in late spring, nodding on stems above the leaves. The round end of the spur contains nectar, which is sought by butterflies and hummingbirds.

The caterpillars of Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius) feed on the leaves.


The plant is easily propagated from seed and blooms the second year. It is relatively long lived in the garden. It grows well in shade, and in sun with proper moisture.

The plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[1]

The cultivar 'Little Lanterns' is half the height of the species.


Native American tribes used various parts red columbine in herbal remedies.


Canada columbine contains a cyanogenic glycoside, which releases poisonous hydrogen cyanide when the plant is damaged.[2]


USA (AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV), Canada (MB, NB, ON, QC, SK)

Wetland Indicator Status[edit]

Regions 1-5: Facultative Equally (FAC) likely to occur in wetlands or non-wetlands (estimated probability 34%-66%).

  • Region 6: Facultative Wetland (FACW) Usually occurs in wetlands (estimated probability 67%-99%), but occasionally found in non-wetlands.



  1. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aquilegia canadensis". Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Edible and Medicinal Plants of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Matthew Alfs. Old Theology Book House. 2001. p. 99.

External links[edit]