*Perennial - Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

PLANTS OF THE WEEK

This native North American plant is in full bloom in central Ohio nature preserves and is a great plant for shady woodland and natural areas as well as the perennial garden.  Wild columbine grows around 1-3' tall (top of the bloom stems) and have red and yellow bell-like flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds.  The plants grow on a range of soils (dry to moist) and are adaptive to a variety of conditions including full sun to part shade.  They are excellent in areas that one wants to naturalize as they spread prolifically under good growing conditions.  However, on the other hand, in the garden where one might want to maintain control, columbine can re-seed and become a problem.  Therefore, deadhead the flowers before the seeds develop. 

The foliage is soft and somewhat frilly and quite attractive after flowering, as long as soils aren't completely dry.  In addition, wild columbine appears to be less susceptible to leafminer feeding which devastates other species and hybrids.