Saturday, January 17, 2009

Aquilegia canadensis: seeds

Aquilegia canadensis (known in English as wild columbine, red columbine, or Canada columbine and in French as ancolie du Canada or gants de Notre-Dame is a short-lived herbaceous perennial native to southeastern Canada and northeastern United States. Like most columbines, its flowers have five long spurs. This is my favourite wildflower, in part because it is one of the few red flowers found in the Canadian wilderness.

Last year I planted a small columbine I bought at Toronto Botanical Garden. Unfortunately it turned out that the barrel I planted it in originally had insufficient drainage to cope with the freakishly heavy rainfall we had last year, and the columbine struggled until I moved it to the shady front yard. It never grew very large, and suffered from leaf-miners (a common problem with this plant, unfortunately). This year I am growing some more from seed, purchased from Wildflower Farm, an Ontario nursury specializing in native plants.

The seeds are black, shiny, and 1-2 mm long.

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