Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

red columbine 4

The Red Columbine or Eastern Columbine has many other common names:  Wild Honeysuckle, Meeting Houses, Red Bell, Rock Lily, and Jack-in-Trousers.

The Cherokee used the seeds from this plant to treat headaches, sore throats, stomach problems, heart problems, skin problems such as poison ivy, kidney problems and gastrointestional problems.

red columbine seeds

Red Columbine is a member of the buttercup family.   It is a popular garden perennial because it is hardy, lives 3 to 5 years can can regenerate by seed.   It is pollinated by hummingbirds which depend on it as an important nectar source.   Native plants in your garden will attract many birds and butterflies.   In additions, at least four bee species are known to be effective pollinators of Red Columbine.

red columbine 3

As you can see from the above photo, Red Columbine is very adaptable to difference soil conditions.    It will grow in a tradional shady flower bed to the rocky outcropping in the foothills and mountains of the Eastern United States.     Its native habitat begins in Canada and south to Florida and even west of the Mississippi River.

The flower is beautiful and downward facing, with all the pedals prolonged backward into a tubular spur.   The plants begin to grow in early spring and they bloom from March to July.   The fruits sets in mid to late summer but the plant dies back in mid to late autumn.   Seeds are mature and ready to collection when they turn black in the follicles.   They grow easily from seed but they normally do not bloom during the first growing season.

I would recommend that you order the native Red Columbine seeds from a native plants website because there are a lot of non-native varieties.    Only the native Red Columbine is resistent to diseases and leaf minor.



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