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Aquilegia canadensis

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ColumbineColumbine s one of those wildlflowers that just about anyone can recognize. The wild form grows along the entire Blue Ridge, and has been used to create a number of garden varieties commonly available at nurseries. The flowers have a unique form, very hard to describe in words. They are red with yellow centers, hang down like bells, and are formed of 5 joined chambers each with a spur pointing up.Columbine close up If you look inside the flower, you'll see a formation that reminds you of a honeycomb. The leaves are fan-shaped with three lobes, deep green above and pale green below. They spread by seed easily, making it a garden favorite. It prefers semi-to-full shade in rich soil. It can begin growing as early as February after a warm winter, begin blooming by March, and you may find it in bloom through most of the summer depending on its location.You may occasionally see a blue form - this is not native to the Eastern U.S., it's a garden escapee.

A note on the nomenclature (naming conventions) on this site: Scientific names and classifications are constantly being argued and changed, and it drives me nuts. Although I use many different sources for knowledge, for naming consistency  I  use the  "Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas" by Radford, Ahles and Bell, 1968 edition. This book is a well-established authority for the plants of our region and I've been using it for years. If for some reason I must use a different source for a particular plant, I will make note of it within the descriptive text. Don't like it? Tough!

Fiona Dudley
986 Reems Creek Road
Weaverville NC 28787


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