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Native Columbine

Aquilegia canadensis

Thomas Mann Randolph, Thomas Jefferson's horticulturally astute son-in-law, observed the native or American columbine blooming at Monticello on April 30, 1791, and the species can still be found growing wild at Monticello today.1 This ornamental flower was introduced to Europe and documented in British gardens by the 1640s.2 In the late 1700s, the Reverend John Banister recorded this species in Virginia, as did John Clayton in the 1750s.3 Bernard McMahon listed seeds for this columbine in his Broadside Catalogue (c. 1800).

This columbine is a hardy, spring-flowering North American perennial with scarlet and yellow flowers appearing on tall, delicate stems above attractive, medium green foliage.

Further Sources

Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Native Columbine.
Growth Type: 
Perennial
Color(s): 
Yellow, Reds, Orange
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Location at Monticello: 
East Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Shade
Blooming History: 
April 28, 2001 to June 11, 2001April 1, 2002 to June 21, 2002March 31, 2003 to July 10, 2003March 29, 2004 to June 16, 2004April 12, 2005 to July 1, 2005March 31, 2006 to June 30, 2006April 6, 2007 to July 6, 2007April 10, 2008 to June 24, 2008April 6, 2009 to June 19, 2009April 6, 2010 to June 21, 2010March 29, 2011 to July 7, 2011March 22, 2012 to June 22, 2012April 11, 2013 to July 3, 2013April 24, 2014 to June 25, 2014April 22, 2015 to July 1, 2015April 15, 2016 to June 10, 2016April 13, 2017 to June 30, 2017April 25, 2018 to June 28, 2018April 22, 2019 to June 18, 2019

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