Charming perennial with yellow-red lanterns hanging down on thin stems and delightful foliage. This native wildflower seems to be underused and has been grown in culture since 1600. This is a very easy plant to grow - just start with one or two plants and let it naturalize and self seed, or you can help to spread some seeds.
Columbine is rather short-lived perennial, but it will stay next by in new generations of seedling. In optimal condition can form bigger colonies. This is an excellent “traveling plant” for early stages of your newly established flower bed, that will fill the gaps among slower growing plants.
Use it in conventional flower beds, borders, meadows, woodland gardens, woodland edges, rock gardens, naturalistic and low maintenance plantings. It goes well with Asarum canadense, Spigelia, Phlox divaricata, Iris cristata, Stylophorum diphyllum, Tiarella cordifolia, Heuchera americana, woodland sedges like Carex pennsylvanica or ferns like Osmunda cinnamomea, Athyrium filix-feminaor Polystichum acrostichoides etc.
It is a valuable mid-early season source of hummingbird food. Goldfinches and buntings feed on seeds. In dry summers it may become dormant, but leaves will come back in the fall again. Native American Indians used to crush the black seed into a powder and blend in hot water to treat fevers. In olden times, bachelors would use the seed paste as a perfume!
Blooming time: May-June
Size: usually 1.5-2’ high x 1.5’ wide.
USDA zones : 3 to 8
Culture: Partial shade, shade, dappled sun, but adaptable to full sun too. Soils from average soil to sandy or clay-ish , preferably with some drainage. Occurs naturally in rich rocky woods, north-facing slopes, cliffs, pastures, and roadside banks.
Moisture Needs : medium, medium-dry
Origin: Native to all states east of the Rockies, except Louisiana.
Deer/rabbit resistant : yes/yes
Attracts Butterflies or Pollinators : bumblebees, butterflies, hawk moths. Host to the Columbine Duskywing Caterpillar.
Attracts Hummingbirds : yes
Pot Size: 3.5" perennial pot (1.22 pt/580 ml)