Red Columbine

Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa)
Aquilegia formosa

Red columbine (or Western columbine) is a common and attractive wildflower. It is native to western North America, from Alaska to Baja California and eastward to Montana and Wyoming. The name red columbine is also used for a number of other members of the genus Aquilegia.

Within its range, red columbine can be found across many habitats, including chaparral, oak woodland, and mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest. It prefers moist locations such as stream banks.

The plant grows to 8-48″ in height, averaging around 1-2ft. The red and yellow flowers appear from April to August (with some variation between regions), and are about 5 cm long. The red or orange spreading outer parts of the flower are sepals, and the yellow inner parts are the true petals. The petals bear spurs that attract the plant’s pollinators, sphinx moths.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 3ft
  • Mature Width: 1-2ft