Aquilegia canadensis (Red Columbine)

Plant Info
Also known as: Wild Columbine
Genus:Aquilegia
Family:Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
Habitat:shade, sun; rocky woods and slopes
Bloom season:May - July
Plant height:1 to 3 feet
USDA PLANTS database:Minnesota county distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: bell

[photo of flower] 5 upside down tubes fused at the tips into a bell shape. The spurs at the base of each tube are hollow. Color is red with yellow tips, but can range from pink-red to orange-red. A bundle of yellow stamens hangs down from the bottom of the bell. Flower is 1 to 2 inches long from the tip of the tube spur to the tip of the stamens.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: compound

[photo of leaves] Leaves are compound in 3's, basal and alternating up the slender stem. Leaflets may be notched and/or lobed in 2 or 3 segments, to 2½ inches long and wide. The stem may be slightly hairy, especially on the upper part of the plant.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of pod] 5 to 7 erect green pod-like containers, each ½ to 1 inch long with a “tail” at the top. They split open at the side to release many shiny round seeds.

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More photos

Photos taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, MN, May 2007

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Betty M
on: 2009-06-14 19:38:56

I have quite a few of these growing wild around my house in Scandia. Some volunteer right in the middle of a rocky path. Is there a trick for successful transplanting?

Posted by: Pam in Stanchfield
on: 2010-05-05 02:45:45

First buds arrived 5/1 along wooded trail leading to lake.

Posted by: Meredith in Shoreview
on: 2010-05-06 17:00:29

I have a few of these in my yard but none are blooming. Down around the marsh behind my house there is a small area where I have found at least 15 that are blooming and many more that are not. They are beautiful.

Posted by: Nature Girls in Minnetonka
on: 2010-05-14 21:08:09

We took a walk on a park trail 5/14/10 and saw some Columbine. My sisters and I are obsessed with nature, so seeing this was like a dream come true! We took lots of pictures and then went home to identify it. It turns out, I had done a report about MN wildflowers so I knew all about them. They are SO beautiful!

Posted by: mike in camden state park lynd mn
on: 2010-05-24 15:22:01

tons of these blooming right now!

Posted by: Toya in Bemidji State Park
on: 2010-06-27 17:56:40

I saw some blooming along a bike path near Big Bog Lake.

Posted by: Robin in Northwood Park, New Hope, MN.
on: 2011-05-13 16:54:01

Spotted a bloom begin to open today in the wooded area near the creek.

Posted by: Denise in Oakdale
on: 2011-05-25 18:55:16

Found some beautiful blooms in a wooded area near a golf course.

Posted by: Rick in Remer, MN
on: 2011-05-27 20:43:44

These are starting to open...the hummingbirds are standing in line.

Posted by: Dennis in Zumbro Falls Woods SNA
on: 2011-05-31 16:18:17

Blooming on the river banks.

Posted by: James in Lake Benton
on: 2011-06-11 15:32:06

These are abundant in the woods behind the barn just up from the creekbed.

Posted by: Linda in Dakota County
on: 2011-07-15 13:43:16

Lots of this in the woods in Kaposia Park and Simon's Ravine Park in South St Paul. It was also very common in northern Minnesota (Voyager's National Forest, Chippewa National Forest, BWCAW) where I grew up.

Posted by: Elizabeth in Andover
on: 2011-07-25 00:42:05

We spent time as children at a family cabin on Elk Lake, and these grew freely in the light woods. We loved to eat the flowers because of the sweet nectar. But we learned to be careful of the bees - they liked it too!

Posted by: Kim in St. Louis Park (Hennepin County)
on: 2012-04-09 08:21:06

I suddenly have these flowers growing on our patio and garden. Not sure what has caused them to make an appearance now (we have lived here for 5 years) but I was curious when I first saw the interesting leaves growing. I decided to wait to see what became of the plant and was pleasantly surprised to see these flowers bloom.

Posted by: Laura in Cambridge
on: 2012-05-11 15:16:49

Found a columbine while on a walk through the woods on our land. Didn't know what it was until I came to this site and was able to identify it. What an amazing-looking little flower. Praise God for His beautiful creation!

Posted by: James in Fort Snelling State Park
on: 2012-05-16 19:40:44

Found plenty blooming right along the path. Very beutiful flowers.

Posted by: Kathy in northern Itasca county
on: 2012-06-04 19:24:42

We have lots of them here. They are indeed very beautiful.

Posted by: Cecile in North Shore near Lutsen
on: 2012-07-22 17:14:41

We hiked the Caribou River trail and Temperance State Park last week and they were in bloom. Beautiful flowers.

Posted by: Paul in Ottawa Bluffs, a few miles east of St. Peter
on: 2014-05-26 22:14:44

Saw about a dozen of these in bloom on May 26.

Posted by: Jenn in Minnetonka, unkempt backyard
on: 2014-05-29 21:00:57

We just noticed two plants in our yard. It's a relief to see something native blooming among the creeping charlie, dandelions, honeysuckle, lilac, and plantain!

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