Native to Western North America, Aquilegia Formosa, commonly known as 'Western Columbine', features masses of pendent, glowing red and soft yellow flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with straight spurs and bushy golden stamens. They rise elegantly on long, thin stems above a lovely fern-like bluish-green foliage and bloom for weeks from late spring to early summer, to the delight of butterflies and hummingbirds. Very adaptable, this plant was used medicinally by the Natives. Ideal to brighten the shade garden!
- Grows in a bushy, upright clump, up to 18-36 in. tall (45-90 cm) and 8-18 in. across (20-45 cm). This perennial is generally short-lived but will self-seed prolifically to form large colonies in satisfactory growing conditions.
- Performs best in full sun to part shade, in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Seriously dislikes poorly drained soils! Rich, moist soils in part shade are preferred. Do not let the soil dry out.
- Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, but is ignored by rabbits and deer!
- Easy to grow, this plant is a welcomed addition to beds, borders, cottage gardens, shade gardens or naturalized areas. Makes good cut flowers!
- Susceptible to leaf miner.
- May be grown from seed sown directly in the garden in spring (after danger of frost has passed).
- Remove faded flowering stems to promote additional bloom. Cut to the ground when the foliage declines (around midsummer).
- Contact with the sap may irritate the skin
Aquilegia is a genus of clump-forming, short-lived perennials noted for their late spring to midsummer blooms of single or double, short-spurred or spurless flowers, in a variety of colors ranging from blue to violet to white to pink to red. A classic element of herbaceous borders, Columbines mix beautifully with peonies, irises, alliums and roses.