Although not drought tolerant, the red and yellow flowers produced by Western Columbine was enough to convince me to order some seeds from Larner Seeds in Bolinas, CA. I planted those seeds in July 2009 and they germinated after about 6 weeks. I have two specimens in the garden in shady spots right next to the wall. One is already in danger of being crowded out by a quickly spreading Salvia Spathacea (Hummingbird Sage) but the other should do just fine.
This California native requires occasional to moderate water in the summer. It will reach a height of no more than 3′ tall, 1′ to 2′ wide. I’m told on average this perennial only lives for 2 or 3 years in the garden, so it’s performance will help me decide if I want to replace like with like.
** Update **
Aquilegia Formosa typically flowers in the Spring. It’s never a bad time to see a splash of color in the garden and a confused Western Columbine is as good a source as any. I’m acutally over the moon to see blooms on this plant. I grew this specimen from seed, starting it out 18 months or so ago. Back when I was first learning about California native plants this was one that really jumped out at me simply due to those gorgeous flowers. To see it blooming now and enjoying the rain brings a nice bit of Christmas cheer to the garden.
I’m told in spite of it blooming now there should be a new round of flowers on this plant again in the spring.
|Common Name||Western Columbine|
|Botanic Name||Aquilegia Formosa|
|Light Required||Partial Shade|
|Potential Size ||3' x 2'|
|Notes||Attracts ButterfliesAttracts Hummingbirds|