Botanical Name: Aquilegia canandensis
Common Name: Eastern Red Columbine, Wild Columbine
Description: Wild columbine is one of Florida’s most striking and unique native, perennial, wildflowers for your shade garden. It occurs naturally in only three counties in the Panhandle, where it is a state-listed endangered species. Its native habitat is in limestone outcroppings and calcareous hammocks and is common in Florida Caverns State Park. Wild columbine blooms in spring with large bright orange to reddish flowers with a contrasting yellow interior that are produced singly on arching stalks over a period of many weeks. Its nectar is a favorite of hummingbirds and long-tongued bees, butterflies, and moths. Small birds enjoy its seeds. Wild Columbine needs part shade to full shade in your garden. Morning sun/afternoon shade is great. So is all day filtered shade. It can take more sun in the winter / early spring when the trees are still deciduous, but needs that shade during the heat of the summer. The foliage is very pretty all on its own with its very airy/ferny look. This is a quick grower to 2-3′ tall. It isn’t considered drought tolerant. Likes the usual moist but well drained soil. Will not survive very wet or very dry soil. If you leave some spent flowers on the plant, it’ll reseed itself nicely. Likes a loam, sandy, or lime rock soil. Does adapt to acidic to highly calcareous soil pH levels.
Native Americans used the plant to treat headaches, fever, sore throats, and stomach, kidney, urinary, and heart problems. The crushed seeds were rubbed on heads to control lice and on hands as a love charm.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.
Plant Lore: The genus Aquilegia comes from the Latin aquila or “eagle” and refers to the spurred petals that some say resemble an eagle’s talons.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 9