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Aquilegia canadensis - L.

Common Name Wild Columbine, Red columbine, Meeting Houses, Common Columbine
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 4-10
Known Hazards Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, it belongs to a family that contains a number of mildly toxic species. It is therefore wise to exercise some caution. The flowers are probably perfectly safe to eat.
Habitats Rocky, wooded or open slopes and sometimes in swamps[43]. Shaded or open woods, often around cliffs, rock outcrops, and forest edge, sometimes in swamps, from sea level to 1600 metres[270].
Range N. America - Nova Scotia to the Northwest Territories and south to Nebraska, Texas and Florida.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine, Red columbine, Meeting Houses, Common Columbine


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Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine, Red columbine, Meeting Houses, Common Columbine
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Summary

Bloom Color: Red, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Aquilegia canadensis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Root
Edible Uses:

Flowers - raw. Sweet and delightful[172]. Rich in nectar[213], they make a very attractive addition to mixed salads and can also be used as a thirst-quenching munch in the garden[K]. Root[2, 105, 177]. These reports possibly refer to the root being chewed for its medicinal virtues[K]. Caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity[172].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antispasmodic  Astringent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Parasiticide  Parasiticide  
Resolvent  Salve

Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, parasiticide, resolvent, salve[172, 222]. The root is astringent and diuretic[222, 257]. It is chewed or made into a weak tea for the treatment of diarrhoea and stomach aches[222]. The tea is used in the treatment of uterine bleeding[222]. The boiled plant was used as a hair wash[213]. The seed is anodyne and febrifuge[257]. An infusion is used in the treatment of headaches and fevers[257].

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Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

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Other Uses

Essential  Parasiticide  Parasiticide

The seed is rubbed into the scalp to rid the hair of lice[172, 222]. The crushed seed is pleasantly aromatic and is used as a perfume. The fragrance persists for a long time[207].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Container, Foundation, Massing, Rock garden, Woodland garden. An easily grown and very tolerant plant[K], it succeeds in ordinary garden soil, preferring a moist but not wet soil and a sunny position[1]. Intolerant of heavy clay[200]. Does well in semi-shade[111]. Prefers a rather poor slightly acid soil[111]. A very ornamental and cold-hardy plant, it tolerates temperatures down to about -25°c[1,187]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. A greedy plant inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54]. Plants are pollinated by humming birds in the wild[187]. Most species in this genus are short-lived, dying out after 2 - 3 years, though they usually produce seed prolifically[200]. However, they are very apt to hybridize with other members of the genus and so it becomes difficult to keep a species true to type if more than one is grown in the garden[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is a tap root similar to a carrot going directly down [1-2].

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be slow to germinate[200]. Stored seed can be sown in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Aquilegia brevistylaSmallflower columbinePerennial0.9 0-0  LMSNM21 
Aquilegia buergeriana Perennial0.6 6-9  LMHSNM20 
Aquilegia coeruleaRocky Mountain Columbine, Colorado blue columbine, Dailey's columbine, White Colorado columbinePerennial0.6 3-7  LMSNM21 
Aquilegia flabellataFan Columbine, Dwarf ColumbinePerennial0.3 3-9 SLMSNM20 
Aquilegia flavescensColumbine, Yellow columbinePerennial0.8 4-8  LMSNM21 
Aquilegia formosaWestern ColumbinePerennial0.8 3-7  LMSNM22 
Aquilegia formosa truncataColumbinePerennial0.9 3-7  LMSNM22 
Aquilegia jonesiiColumbine, Jones' columbine, Blue limestone columbinePerennial0.1 3-7  LMSNM21 
Aquilegia karelinii Perennial0.8 -  LMSNM20 
Aquilegia pubescensColumbine, Sierra columbinePerennial0.5 4-8  LMSNM21 
Aquilegia shockleyi Perennial0.8 6-9  LMSNM21 
Aquilegia vulgarisColumbine, European columbine, Granny's Bonnet, European CrowfootPerennial1.0 3-9 MLMSNM21 
Semiaquilegia adoxoidesTian KuiPerennial0.3 5-9  LMHSNM02 

 

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