Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Cool Native Plant, the Canadian Columbine

Another native plant that I've really enjoyed growing in my garden is Aquilegia canadensis. It's sometimes called Wild, Red or American Columbine, but I prefer Canadian Columbine.

Photo from Cornell University, Cutler Botanic Garden

In any case, it's a beauty to combine with Hostas, ferns and other North American woodland natives in a shady garden. It's short-lived but self-seeds pleasantly, and is also relatively resistant to the nasty Columbine borer.

The common names, and my preference aside, the USDA does indicate that its distribution pretty much covers the eastern half of the North American continent.

One recent form that is particularly impressive is 'Little Lanterns' which is a shorter version, but also seemingly more prolific in it's flower production. Here's a two-year-old plant with an impressive number of flowers.

Even more recently, the Dyck Arboretum in Kansas, discovered and developed a pink-flowered version called 'Pink Lanterns'. I have yet to try it, but it looks promising and I can hardly wait.

Photo from Jelitto

Here's to the Canadian Columbine, and dirt under your nails.


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