Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Crimson Columbine
Aquilegia formosa

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Species: formosa (for-MOH-suh) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 22 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive marti001 On Sep 9, 2013, marti001 from Somerset, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I found this growing wild here in Kentucky and brought home the seeds for my garden. It grows freely and self sows. I love it mixed in with my other columbines.
And I am putting in an area for native plants so I will add it to that area also.

Positive Scorpioangel On Sep 28, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a native to this area. I collected seeds from the wild yard of my mom, sowed them outdoors in the fall and had babies coming up in the spring. That was 10 years ago and they still are here. They freely self sow if not dead-headed.

Positive youreit On Mar 29, 2005, youreit from Knights Landing, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Since this plant is native from Alaska to northern California, Montana, and Utah, I just planted it and let nature do the rest. It's now blooming for the first time, and it's flowers are, indeed, small. Very pretty, though, and one of the easiest plants to grow in my yard.

I'm going to follow the Sunset book's recommendations and allow it to set seeds so the birds can enjoy some of them. I hope the rest of them will self sow and spread out, too.

Positive nevadagdn On Mar 24, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this in dry, well-drained, regularly watered shade.

Neutral dmongerson On May 23, 2003, dmongerson from Salmon Arm
Canada wrote:

I have had good germination and am just starting with them. I'm wondering how moist I should keep them in the garden. Here in the wild(British Columbia interior) they seem to like it pretty wet.

Positive Weezingreens On Aug 7, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Aquilegia formosa grows in Alaska along roadsides and in woodland clearings. It adapts very well to the garden and self-sows readily. The flowers are rather small, but the colors are brilliant and showy. Lately I have noticed some larger blooms on plants that seem to have crossed with my domestics.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Alameda, California
Crescent City, California
Knights Landing, California
Los Altos, California
Redwood City, California
Richmond, California
Roseville, California
Sacramento, California
Somerset, Kentucky
Prince Frederick, Maryland
Sparks, Nevada
Mansfield, Ohio
Gold Hill, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Bremerton, Washington

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