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.
Oxalis oregana, also known as Redwood sorrel, is a species of the wood sorrel family, Oxalidaceae, native to moist Douglas-fir and Coast Redwood forests of western North America from southwestern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. This attractive groundcover can spread vigorously when planted in favorable conditions.
It is a short herbaceous perennial plant with erect flowering stems 5-15 cm tall. The three leaflets are heart-shaped, 1-4.5 cm long on 5-20 cm stalks. The inflorescence is 2.4-4 cm in diameter, white to pink with five petals and sepals. The hairy five-chambered seed capsules are egg-shaped, 7-9 mm long; seeds are almond shaped.
Oregon oxalis photosynthesizes at relatively low levels of ambient light (1/200th of full sunlight). When direct sunlight strikes the leaves they fold downwards; when shade returns, the leaves reopen. This process only takes a few minutes and the movement is observable to the eye.
The tangy leaves of Oregon oxalis were eaten by Native Americans, probably in small quantities, since they contain mildly toxic oxalic acid (hence the genus name).
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- Light Requirements: Part Shade, Full Shade
- Water Requirements: Moist
- Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
- Growth Rate: Moderate
- Spreads: Yes
- Wildlife Support: Birds or Mammals
- Edible: Yes
- Mature Height: 6-8in
- Mature Width: 2-3ft