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Aquilegia canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamilia: Thalictroideae
Genus: Aquilegia
Species: Aquilegia canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis L., Sp. Pl.: 533 (1753)

Aquilegia australis Small
Aquilegia canadensis f. albiflora House
Aquilegia canadensis subsp. americana Rapaics
Aquilegia canadensis var. australis (Small) Munz
Aquilegia canadensis var. coccinea (Small) Munz
Aquilegia canadensis f. ecalcarata Livingston
Aquilegia canadensis var. eminens (Greene) B.Boivin
Aquilegia canadensis var. flaviflora (Tenney) Britton
Aquilegia canadensis f. gartneri (Borbás) Rapaics
Aquilegia canadensis var. hybrida Hook.
Aquilegia canadensis var. latiuscula (Greene) Munz
Aquilegia canadensis var. phippenii J.Rob.
Aquilegia canadensis f. phippenii (J.Rob.) Ralph Hoffm.
Aquilegia coccinea Small
Aquilegia elegans Salisb.
Aquilegia eminens Greene
Aquilegia flaviflora Tenney
Aquilegia latiuscula Greene
Aquilegia phoenicantha Cory
Aquilegia variegata Moench

Additional references

Govaerts, R.H.A. 1995. World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2). 483, 529 pp. MIM, Deurne. ISBN 90-341-0852-X (issue 1) ISBN 90-341-0853-8 (issue 2). Reference page.
Whittemore, A.T. 1997. Aquilegia. Pp. - in Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.), Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 3: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. 590 pp. Oxford University Press, New York / Oxford, ISBN 0-19-511246-6. efloras Reference page.
Mohlenbrock, R.H. 2014. Vascular Flora of Illinois. A Field Guide. 4th ed., 536 pp. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Ill. ISBN 978-0-8093-3208-3. Reference page.
Chester, E.W., Wofford, B.E., Shaw, J.T., Estes, D. & Webb, D.H. (eds.) 2015. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee. 813 pp., University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. ISBN 978-1-62190-100-6. Reference page.
Villaseñor, J.L. 2016. Checklist of the native vascular plants of Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87: 559–902. DOI: 10.1016/j.rmb.2016.06.017 Online PDF Reference page.
Werier, D. 2017. Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of New York State. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 27: 1–542. JSTOR Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2020. Aquilegia canadensis. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2020 March 23. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Aquilegia canadensis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 March 23. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Aquilegia canadensis. Published online. Accessed: 23 March 2020.

Vernacular names
English: Canadian Columbine
suomi: Kanadanakileija
français: Ancolie du Canada

Aquilegia canadensis, the Canadian or Canada columbine, eastern red columbine, or wild columbine, is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is an herbaceous perennial native to woodland and rocky slopes in eastern North America, prized for its red and yellow flowers. It readily hybridizes with other species in the genus Aquilegia.

1 Description
2 Cultivation
3 Other uses
4 Toxicity
5 Distribution
6 Wetland Indicator Status
7 Gallery
8 References
9 External links


The plant is 15–90 cm (6–35 in) tall. The fern-like leaves are lobed and grouped in threes, growing from the base and off the flowering stems. The flowers are 1–2 in (2.5–5.1 cm) long and have yellow petals with a red spur and red sepals. They appear in late spring (usually in May and June), nodding on stems above the leaves. The round end of the spur contains nectar, which is sought by butterflies and hummingbirds.[2]

The caterpillars of Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius) feed on the leaves.

Aquilegia canadensis is a highly decorative plant, valued for its attractive foliage and showy flowers. For this reason it is widely grown outside its native region, in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

The plant is easily propagated from seed, and blooms the second year from sowing. It is relatively long lived in the garden. It grows well in shade, and in sun with proper moisture.

The cultivar 'Little Lanterns' is half the height of the species.
Other uses

Native American tribes[which?] used various parts of red columbine in herbal remedies for ailments such as headache, sore throat, fever, rash caused by poison ivy, stomatitis, kidney and urinary problems, and heart problems.[3] Native American men also rubbed crushed seeds on their hands as a love charm.[4]

Canada columbine contains a cyanogenic glycoside, which releases poisonous hydrogen cyanide when the plant is damaged.[5]

USA (AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV), Canada (MB, NB, ON, QC, SK, BC).[6]
Wetland Indicator Status

Wetland is an extremely valuable but limited resource in the USA. The Wetland Indicator Status is used to determine which native plant species can provide information about the presence of wetland in a given area. Essentially if a plant thrives in a particular area, it means there is a greater likelihood of wetland there. Aquilegia canadensis is one such species.

Regions 1-5: Facultative Equally (FAC) likely to occur in wetlands or non-wetlands (estimated probability 34%-66%).
Region 6: Facultative Wetland (FACW) Usually occurs in wetlands (estimated probability 67%-99%), but occasionally found in non-wetlands.


Salisb. Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 374 1796
"Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin". Retrieved 2021-12-20.
"Red Columbine" (PDF). PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Aquilegia canadensis". NPIN: Native Plants Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
Edible and Medicinal Plants of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Matthew Alfs. Old Theology Book House. 2001. p. 99.
Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). "Aquilegia canadensis". Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

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