Create Your Garden

Aquilegia formosa (Western Columbine)

Western Columbine, Crimson Columbine, Scarlet Columbine, Red Columbine

Aquilegia Formosa, Western Columbine, Crimson Columbine, Scarlet columbine, Red columbine, Red Aquilegia

Native to Western North America, Aquilegia Formosa, commonly known as ‘Western Columbine’, features masses of pendant, 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, rain 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.

Columbine: How to Grow and Care with Success


Want to learn how to grow and care for columbine like a pro? Follow these simple steps and enjoy the beauty of these striking plants

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Ranunculaceae
Genus Aquilegia
Common names Columbine, Red Columbine
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 8" - 2'
(20cm - 60cm)
Spacing 8" - 18"
(20cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, California, Southwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Rain Gardens, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Not sure which Aquilegia (Columbine) to pick?
Compare Now

Alternative Plants to Consider

Aquilegia Songbird ‘Nightingale’ (Columbine)
Aquilegia coerulea Kirigami Rose & Pink (Columbine)
Aquilegia coerulea Kirigami Yellow (Columbine)
Aquilegia coerulea Kirigami Light Blue & White (Columbine)
Aquilegia Songbird ‘Goldfinch’ (Columbine)
Aquilegia Songbird ‘Robin’ (Columbine)

Recommended Companion Plants

Thalictrum aquilegiifolium (Meadow Rue)
Anchusa azurea (Italian Bugloss)
Iris germanica (Bearded Iris)
Papaver orientale (Oriental Poppy)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Stunning Blue Flowers to Enhance Your Garden’s Beauty
30 Great Perennials for Shade
30 Best Spring Flowers to Spruce up Your Garden
20 Spring Wildflowers to Create a Dazzling Garden
Hummingbird
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Great Bulbs and Perennials as Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Columbine: How to Grow and Care with Success
Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
Buy Plants

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Ranunculaceae
Genus Aquilegia
Common names Columbine, Red Columbine
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 8" - 2'
(20cm - 60cm)
Spacing 8" - 18"
(20cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, California, Southwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Rain Gardens, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Not sure which Aquilegia (Columbine) to pick?
Compare Now

Gardening Ideas

Plant Calculator

How many Aquilegia formosa (Western Columbine) do I need for my garden?

Input your garden space dimensions

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Aquilegia formosa (Western Columbine) N/A Buy Plants

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone