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Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine, Canadian columbine)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Aquilegia canadensis

wild columbine, Canadian columbine

Red flowers with yellow centers hang like drifts of softly illuminated lanterns in April and May. Excellent as a shady rock garden naturalizer, it also is quite content in average garden conditions. Occurs naturally in rich rocky woods, north-facing slopes, cliffs, ledges, pastures, and roadside banks. Native to all states east of the Rockies, but not found in Louisiana.

Aquilegia canadensis LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
Aquilegia canadensis - 72 per flat Availability
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1-3 Feet


1 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

wild columbine, Canadian columbine Interesting Notes

"This species shows relative disdain for that voracious enemy of columbine- the leaf miner! A. canadensis is less susceptible to leaf miner than many other species, especially the hybrids. Leaf miner will eventually cause significant damage in A. canadensis, but not as rapidly as with other species." - Allan Armitage

Aquilegia canadensis Growing and Maintenance Tips

Thrives in part to full shade in any well-drained soil. Plants tolerate full sun if temperatures are cool, but they prefer partial shade. They may go dormant in mid summer if stressed by heat or drought, but will emerge again in late winter. Plants reseed readily and plantings may double in size in two years.

Good Substitutions

wild columbine, Canadian columbine Aquilegia canadensis 'Corbett'
dwarf wild columbine, Canadian columbine Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Early Spring
Early Spring
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Green Infrastructure
Green Roof
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Open pollinated