Aquilegia canadensis L.
Aquilegia australis Small
Aquilegia canadensis L. var. australis (Small) Munz
Aquilegia canadensis L. var. coccinea (Small) Munz
Aquilegia canadensis L. var. eminens (Greene) B. Boivin
Aquilegia canadensis L. var. hybrida Hook.
Aquilegia canadensis L. var. latiuscula (Greene) Munz
Aquilegia coccinea Small
Aquilegia latiuscula Greene
Aquilegia phoenicantha Cory
Red Columbine, American Columbine, Eastern Columbine, Canada Columbine, Meetinghouses, Rock Bells, Honeysuckle, Rock Lily, Cluckies, Jack-in-trousers, Wild Honeysuckle, Granny’s Bonnets, Dancing Fairies, Wild Columbine
Red columbine, one of the prettiest darned flowers I’ve ever seen, is native to North America. The genus Aquilegia means eagle-like, a reference to the talon-like spurs on the back of each flower. Columbines are related to buttercups. They are found in dry woods.
Identification: Plants are 12-36" (30-91 cm) high, with red to green stems. Leaves are at the base, with a few along the stem, divided into progressively smaller groups of two or three. They are up to 3" (7.6 cm) long. Leaves may be oval, but wider toward the ends; or rounded, with lobes or teeth. A single flower hangs downward from each stem. The flower has five symmetrical parts, and is about 1¼-2" (3.2-5 cm) in length. They vary from light pink to deep red in color, with yellow centers, and bloom from April to July. The spurs on the back of each flower are unique in shape, the best identifying characteristic. They favor forest floors and cliffs. See other columbines.
Edibility: Poisonous. The seeds and roots are highly poisonous, and the leaves of many other members of the buttercup family are poisonous.
Aquilegia canadensis on Missouriplants.com
Aquilegia canadensis at Illinois Wildflowers
Aquilegia canadensis on the USDA Plants Database
Aquilegia canadensis at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Aquilegia canadensis on Discover Life
Aquilegia canadensis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.
Range: Zones 3-8: