Native Plant Spotlight: Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Native Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) blooming in a native wildflower garden in Southern Alberta in May.

Cheery in its red and yellow dress, Eastern Red Columbine will happily spread about to delight you and your guests. A native wildflower perfect for the more shady areas of your garden!

Growth Habits

Only growing to about a foot or a foot-and-a-half tall, this columbine is one of the more flexible of its species regarding growth requirements. It can tolerate part shade to sun, and dry to moist soil conditions.

Although the red columbine spreads readily by seed, unwanted seedlings are easily removed or planted elsewhere.


Blooms of Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in a native wildflower garden in Southern Alberta in May

Blooming from May to July, the Eastern Red Columbine is an ideal choice for a native flower garden. The plethora of bright red and yellow blooms add lovely color to the spring garden! Not to mention, isn’t the shape of these incredible flowers fascinating?!

Insect and Wildlife

Great for attracting bees, the flowers are also known to be hugely attractive to hummingbirds! Butterflies and hawk moths, among other species, also frequent this plant for nectar while it’s blooming.

Another bonus: Eastern Red Columbine is not a favorite food source of deer or rabbits, and they will leave it alone!

In Conclusion

A must have for the shady native wildflower garden, Eastern Red Columbine is a showstopper in spring! Not too particular about soil and water requirements, it’s a great choice for beginner native wildflower gardeners as well.

Happy Gardening!