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Western Columbine
Aquilegia formosa
  
About Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) 43 Nurseries Carry This Plant Names include Crimson Columbine, Western Columbine or (ambiguously) "Red Columbine". It is a common and attractive wildflower native to western North America, from Alaska to Baja California, and eastward to Montana and Wyoming. It is very often known as the "Red Columbine", but because this name is also used for a number of other members of the genus Aquilegia, it is not recommended. Within its range, the Crimson Columbine can be found in most kinds of habitat (chaparral, oak woodland, mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest). It is not found on desert floors, nor at altitudes above 3300 meters, and it is absent from the Central Valley of California. It prefers moist locations such as stream banks and needs summer water. It prefers light shade especially in the afternoon.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Size
Size
1.5 - 3 ft tall
1 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright, Fountain

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous, Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
None

Flower Color
Flower Color
Red, Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 5 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Low, Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Woodland soil with organic material and good drainage. Tolerates Serpentine Soil. Soil PH: 4.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Trees - Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Santa Lucia Fir (Abies bracteata), Duoglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and many others.

Shrubs and herbs - Meadow Rue (Thalictrum fendleri), Snowdrop Bush (Styrax officinalis), Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus), Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), and Huckleberry (Vaccinum ovatum).

Maintenance
Maintenance
Self-sows readily so deadhead if desired, or allow flowers to go to seed if you want it to spread.

Propagation
Propagation?
By seed.  For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Found in a number of settings and habitats including streambanks, seeps, woodland settings, and other moist places. It is often found adjacent to chaparral, forest or woodland habitats.

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 5.4" - 154.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.21" - 5.80", Coldest Month: 9.1" - 52.5", Hottest Month: 32.8" - 79.6", Humidity: 0.01" - 29.47", Elevation: 5" - 14019"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Crimson Columbine, Red Columbine, Sitka Columbine


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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