Crimson columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Sprung in a cleft of the wayside steep,
And saucily nodding, flushing deep,
With her airy tropic bells aglow, --
Bold and careless, yet wonderous light,
And swung into poise on the stony height,
Like a challenge flung to the world below!
Skirting the rocks at the forest edge
With a running flame from ledge to ledge,
Or swaying deeper in shadowy glooms,
A smoldering fire in her dusky blooms;
Bronzed and molded by wind and sun,
Maddening, gladdening every one
With a gypsy beauty full and fine, --
A health to the crimson columbine!
--Elaine Goodale

Plant Profile

Herbaceous perennial, 19 to 36 inches. Can be evergreen in some areas. Featuring yellow petals with red sepals and spurs, the pendant flowers are set off by elegant sprays of light green, lacy foliage. Spurs hold nectar for hummingbirds. Bloom time: May -September


A.M. sun and P.M. shade ideal, but will grow in full sun if given ample water. Tolerates full shade but may not bloom as freely. The plant needs water while flowering; reseeds easily and tends to cross with other columbines.

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California Native Plant Society - North Coast Chapter
P.O. Box 1067 Arcata, CA 95518-1067
Last updated February 4, 1997

(minor 12-2000)