Hiking in an Audubon refuge recently, my friend and I came across this stunning sight. The large, thriving patch of aquiliegia canadensis, or Canadian – or Wild –  columbine. These native wildflowers were growing in light shade near a pond.


We have seen this plant before, of course, growing in damp but well-drained soil. It blooms here in late May. But we agreed that these were particularly stunning because of the very red sepals and bright yellow, contrasting petals. The foliage is also attractive – delicate and fern-like.

The red spur is filled with nectar, and these plants are visited by pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.

I would not try to grow this plant in my border. It’s just too hot and dry here. But I understand it does very well in the garden, under the right conditions.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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2 Responses to Columbines

  1. Kathy says:

    The wildflowers are outstanding this year! They must have enjoyed our very cold and wet winter a lot more than we did! Thanks for the glorious pictures; I am always in awe of your photographic skills.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Thanks, Kathy. We’re still seeing lady slippers on the trails, on their way out, but still numerous. And now, bring on the mountain laurel!


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