Wild Columbine Wildflower

Nature & Nurture Seeds

Aquilegia canadensis


Pkt (≈275 seeds)

This graceful, bright wildflower feeds and attracts hummingbirds. It flowers in late spring (June) offering bright color before summer flowers start showing off their stuff. Wild Columbine reaches 2.5-3’ tall and is a biennial which means that it will bloom during it’s second summer. Interestingly, the differing floral shapes of red flowered columbines, especially the spurs, have resulted from their adaptation and selection to different species of hummingbirds as pollinators. Once established, Columbine can self-propagate for years by self-seeding into bare soil. Seed are Upper Midwest genotype. 

Photo credit: Matt Demmon.

Columbine Seeds require a “cold stratification” or cold treatment before they will germinate. To start seeds inside, mix the seeds into ½ cup of moist sand (or paper towel) and place in a sealed plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks before planting May-July. Alternatively, sow seeds outside in late summer, fall or early spring (before March 1st) so they are naturally exposed to the cold. Plant in full sun location. Prepare area by removing weeds and loosen soil surface with a rake. Hand broadcast (sow) seeds evenly over area. Water seeds with a light sprinkle after sowing. From seed, these plants can take 1-3 years to become established and large enough to flower. We also recommend sowing annual plant seeds to fill in the area until the native plants get established. Try Blanket Flower, Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, Dyer’s Coreopsis, Calendula, or Cosmos. If transplanting, seed indoors 8–10 weeks before the last frost (March). Barely cover the seed, as light aids in germination. Keep seeds moist until plants emerge. Days to germiation: 21-28. Transplant into larger containers or cell packs when first true leaves appear. Transplant into the field after the last frost (late May). Space plants 10– 15” apart.