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Wild Red Columbine

Category:

Beautiful nodding, red and orange flowers stand tall above light green foliage; an upright habit, perfect for garden beds, borders or patio containers; easy to grow; maintenance needed to control self-seeding

Characteristics

Species:
canadensis
Other Species Names:
American Columbine
Average Landscape Height:
24 inches (3 feet with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
24 inches
Genus:
Aquilegia
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
low
Growth Rate:
fast
Pruning:
cut back in fall
Flower Color:
tomato
Flower Eye Color:
yellow
Flower Form:
bell
Flower Period:
in late spring
Summer Foliage Color:
light green
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
average
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Wild Red Columbine has masses of beautiful nodding tomato-orange bell-shaped flowers with yellow eyes and orange spurs at the ends of the stems in late spring, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its lobed compound leaves remain light green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Wild Red Columbine is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Wild Red Columbine will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 3 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Wild Red Columbine is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

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