Aquilegia canadensis

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: columbine
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Light pink/yellow to blood red/yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Wide range of soil tolerance as long as drainage is good. Prefers rich, moist soils in light to moderate shade. Freely self-seeds and will naturalize to form large colonies in optimum growing conditions. Remove flowering stems after bloom to encourage additional bloom. Keep soils uniformly moist after bloom to prolong attractive foliage appearance. When foliage depreciates, plants may be cut to the ground.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aquilegia canadensis is a Missouri native spring wildflower which occurs in rocky woods, slopes, ledges and open areas throughout the State. Features drooping, bell-like, 1-2", red and yellow flowers (red sepals, yellow-limbed petals, 5 distinctive red spurs and a mass of bushy yellow stamens). Delicate, biternate foliage is somewhat suggestive of meadow rue (Thalictrum) and remains attractive throughout the summer as long as soils are kept moist. Flowers are quite attractive to hummingbirds.

Genus name comes from the Latin word for eagle in reference to the flower’s five spurs which purportedly resemble an eagle’s talon.

Specific epithet means of Canada or also of north-eastern North America.


This species has very good resistance to leaf miner which often causes severe damage to the foliage of many other columbine species and hybrids.

Garden Uses

Borders, cottage gardens, open shade gardens, woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Also a good selection for a hummingbird garden. Continue to water plants after bloom to enjoy the ground cover effect of the attractive foliage.