Alphabetical Plant Listing

Aquilegia formosa (Western Columbine)

Western Columbine, Crimson Columbine, Scarlet Columbine, Red Columbine


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 averagemedium moisturewell-drained soils. Seriously dislikes poorly drained soils! Richmoist 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 bedsborderscottage gardensshade 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.

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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 Aquilegia
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 – 45cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
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, Alaska, California, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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rfoxfoto / 123RF Stock Photo

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.


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 Aquilegia
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 – 45cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
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, Alaska, California, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Aquilegia

Guides with Aquilegia

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