Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hummingbirds and Columbine

The Columbine are blooming. For those of you that don't have Columbine you have no idea what you are missing. Yes they can get a little out of hand from time to time. However they spread themselves with wild abandon through my garden and every year put on a beautiful show around the end of April.

The best part is that I always know that when they bloom the hummingbirds are never far behind. They adore this little wildflower. I got my start years ago from my mother in law.  And have never been without them since. Just cut the blooms off immediately after they bloom and don't let them go to seed. Or let them and you'll have plenty of hummingbirds next year .  Here's more info about these flowers if anyone is interested in them.

Aquilegia canadensis L.

Eastern red columbine, Wild red columbine

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)


USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

This is an erect, branching perennial, up to 2 ft. tall, well-known for its showy flowers. A nodding, red and yellow flower with upward spurred petals alternating with spreading, colored sepals and numerous yellow stamens hanging below the petals. The compound leaves, divided into round-lobed threes, are attractive in their own right.

This beautiful woodland wildflower has showy, drooping, bell-like flowers equipped with distinctly backward-pointing tubes, similar to the garden Columbines. These tubes, or spurs, contain nectar that attracts long-tongued insects and hummingbirds especially adapted for reaching the sweet secretion. It is reported that Native Americans rubbed the crushed seeds on the hands of men as a love charm. European Columbine (A. vulgaris), with blue, violet, pink, or white short-spurred flowers, was introduced from Europe and has now become well established in many parts of the East. Aquilegia canadensis readily hybridizes with the popular Southwestern yellow columbines (A. chrysantha, etc.), yielding some striking yellow-and-red color combinations in the flowers. This genus has been referred to as the flower for the masses. Once started, Columbine propagates for years and, although perennial, increases rapidly by self seeding. (Andy Fyon)

Blessings from the Holler
The Canned Quilter


  1. Very nice. I will remember that when we move to our country property. :)

  2. Very pretty. A few years ago when I was on a horse riding vacation in the mountains of Colorado, I saw huge columbines that were blue/purple along the mountain riding trails. They were breathtaking! Thanks for bringing back those wonderful memories!

  3. You take the best pictures! =)

  4. They are such pretty flowers. I had some for several years, then they just all disappeared. Not sure why, but you've made me think of them again. I need to plant some!

  5. When we moved here I planted Columbine. Robin lived here then and I bought her a Columbine "Robin" for her birthday. For some reason she thought she was supposed to move it with her when she moved out!! My other Columbine didn't make it for some reason. Maybe the remodel. I am getting ready to replace it this year. I too love it, like the hummers do!!!!! They will be happy with me!


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