plant spotlight
Genus species cv common name number * location **
Aquilegia canadensis    Wild Columbine 37 back fence south
Aquilegia canadensisAquilegia canadensisClematis hybrida MultiblueAquilegia s0058Aquilegia canadensis
James Garden (top; center left; bottom); along the shore of Lake Mendota (center right)

Wild columbine has always been a family favorite and it has been growing in our yard as long as I can remember. A short-lived perennial, it self-sows politely, not becoming a nuisance but usually starting enough new plants to perpetuate itself. It grows in my yard in varying light conditions from sun to almost complete shade.

My parents and I would often drive to see it growing wild on rocky outcrops - favorite spots near Madison were in Wyoming Valley and north of Mount Horeb. Several years ago, friends introduced me to a spot in the UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve, west of Picnic Point on the shore of Lake Mendota (pictured).