Aquilegia Formosa Growing Wild

Asked March 8, 2018, 5:45 PM EST

I'm in a group making a presentation on local ecology. The Western Columbine (aquilegia formosa) is native to the Pacific NW, but I've found scant printed information about where I might find examples of it growing wild (for photographs), its microenvironment, and what animals, if any, use it for food. I am given to understand it is pollinated chiefly by hummingbirds, but not which species of hummingbird. Can you help me with this information? Thank you, Ruth R. Gresham

Multnomah County Oregon wildflowers and native plants hummingbirds columbine wild flowers

2 Responses

Wildflowers bloom at different times in different locations and elevations. The wildflower/native plant groups may be a good source for you. Try contacting them on their websites and facebook pages. You may find an expert in Columbine flowers, or hummingbirds, or both. (Example, the Native Plant Society of Oregon Portland Chapter)
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District staff may have a location to recommend you check. https://emswcd.org/
The forest service article, "Columbine Natural History" includes a discussion of the hummingbirds and other pollinators. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/columbines/naturalhistory.shtml
We may have Extension Service staff or other volunteers with more information. I'll re-post your question and you may receive and additional response here.


You're probably going to have a difficult time finding them until May, June, July and August, Ruth. This Forest Service article has a bit of information on the Aqualegia family, and Bosky Dell Nursery may be able to tell you when some of this plant grown by them are coming into bloom. and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has a bit more information. As Jacki said, several of the Pacific Northwest Native Plant organizations may have even more information. Good luck!