Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) | Wildflowers and Herbs plant group | Also known as Eastern columbine
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Red columbines have red, tubular flowers that hang downwards with upward pointing claw-like spurs. They typically have leaves divided in threes which each have three lobes. Hummingbirds and bees are important pollinators of this species.

Identification Hints

Red columbines have red, tubular flowers that hang downwards with upward pointing claw-like spurs. They typically have leaves divided in threes which each have three lobes. Hummingbirds and bees are important pollinators of this species.

Did You Know?

Eastern red columbine is pollinated by hummingbirds (notice the red, tubular flowers). In northern latitudes, bees are also important pollinators of this species. Seeds of the red columbine have been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, from treating kidney ailments to relieving rashes caused by poison ivy.

Leaves
Leaves are deep green, compound, divided into rounded leaflets, which give them the distinctive buttercup appearance. Leaves are smooth on top, and fuzzy underneath.
Flowers
Flowers are showy and distinct. A single, nodding flower stems from leaf axils. Each flower has five red petals, which extend backward into long spurs with a slightly bulbous tip called a nectary where nectar is stored. The reproductive parts of the flower hang downward, and are bright yellow. Flowers bloom from April to July.
Fruits
The seed head is a beaked follicle (a seed pod that splits open along one side) just over 1 in (3 cm) in length, which opens to release seeds. Five of the pointed follicles are produced from each flower.
Habitat
Eastern red columbine is found in well-lit areas on the edges of woodland areas, on open hillsides and bluffs, and even peat bogs. The plant is native to eastern and central North America, found as far north as Canada down to northern Florida, and west to Oklahoma and eastern Texas.
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