Little Lanterns Columbine

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Sweet, stunning dwarf wildflower! Add the showy whimsy of Little Lanterns Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns'). A marvelous choice for shady spots, Little Lanterns are an improved, compact variety of the beloved wildflower. These low-growing perennials make a cheerful sight with their rich red and golden-yellow blooms. Enjoy their intricate spring blooms for many weeks!

The nodding flowers are raised high above the deeply lobed mound of fine-textured foliage on slender stalks. The pretty flowers feature five sepals that stretch backward over the true petals. Little Lanterns' sepals are a brilliant red with curving spurs, while the petals and stamens underneath are a buttery yellow. Your winter-hungry eyes will be thrilled to see their vivid hues!

Hummingbirds and butterflies love the nectar easily accessed in the hollow spurs with knobbed tips. Children are also very intrigued by these "Fairy Flowers". Snip a few of the flowers for tender little bud vases. Start a cute collection of these vases, then cluster a few on top of an antique mirror for a gorgeous tablescape.

Planting and Application:

Little Lanterns Columbine is an instantly recognizable native wildflower for woodland gardens! For a natural look, plant them higglety-pigglety here and there near the edge of your woodland path. Let them self-seed as they will! Rediscover them each year and take a deep breath to welcome the new growing season again! Make every moment count in a Cottage Garden!

Add several of them near your garden sculptures and garden benches. This petite selection makes a spectacular garden moment tucked around the corner in nooks and crannies for your guests to discover with delight. Craft an outdoor retreat with these lovely blooms and you'll be proud to lead them on garden tours from late spring through early summer.

In shade, they might look dainty, but Columbines grow wild on Alpine slopes and rocky ledges! Use them on the shady side of large boulders to gently soften the look. They'll also grow well in the shade of taller spring-blooming perennials like Peony or Bleeding Heart. Plant them next to a Butterfly puddling station, under the bold stems of a developing Butterfly Bush or Swamp Milkweed. They'll grow to shade your Columbine by mid-summer.

These cold-hardy perennials grow at high altitudes. Columbine is known as an "ephemeral" and deserves a special place in your Spring Garden. Let these tiny, wild beauties do their thing.

Use this beloved plant as one of the little details for a designer look. Twee Little Lanterns can be added to native landscapes and mixed borders. Why not maximize the impact of your investment? Create a larger impact by planting several along the edge of a planting bed or your patio containers. Their happy colors will add a charming look for over a month!

Plant them to perk up the look of your mature plantings, because Little Lanterns look great against an evergreen backdrop! Grow them on the north side of a shed or playhouse. Your kids and grandchildren will love to seek them out in spring!

  • Nodding Red & Yellow Blooms
  • Outstanding Two-Tone Flower Color & Form
  • Rugged Nature, Delicate Looks!
  • Nectar-Rich Resource & Dainty Cut Flowers
  • Deeply Lobed Foliage & Compact Mounds
  • Rock Gardens & Woodland Borders, Containers & Specimens

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Little Lanterns need no more than four to six hours of sunlight a day. They will not do well in full sun except in cooler USDA growing zones of 3 to 5, but in zones 6 to 8, please provide a spot in partial or afternoon shade.

Perennial Columbines prefer rich, well-drained soil. Add Nature Hills Root Booster according to the directions to supply beneficial mycorrhizal fungus for life-long benefits to the tiny feeder roots. Provide a moderate amount of water on a regular basis, especially for new installations. In the wild, these plants can display drought tolerance, but we recommend that you consistently give them water for the best results. Mulch over the roots, but please ensure that no mulch directly touches the stems. Pull it back away from the crown of the plant.

Deadhead as flowers fade to encourage a rebloom, and trim back the foliage when the leaves start to decline in late summer. Allow them to reseed as they will, following the whims of Mother Nature. Transplant the new seedlings to new areas as you like. The foliage can die back by the end of summer, so be sure to include larger plants nearby.

  • Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Ultra Cold Hardy & Heat Tolerant
  • Moderate Regular Moisture
  • Widely Adaptable To Moist Well-Drained Soil
  • Deer and Rabbits Seldom Severely Damage Them
  • Improved Selection Resists Powdery Mildew

Every yard needs a wildflower or two! Plant your chance to smile next spring. Order our expertly grown Little Lanterns Columbine for your landscape today! Order your Little Lanterns Columbine for a special springtime accent plant from Nature Hills!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Little Lanterns Columbine Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-8
Growing Zones 3-8
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns'
Type Perennial
Mature Height 10 - 12 inches
Mature Spread 10 - 12 inches
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Red & Yellow Bi-Color
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Late Autumn