Aquilegia canadensis - Wild Columbine
Late spring wildflower (Spotted May 7, 2009) with yellow petals abutted by red sepals and red spurs. The red spurs (with rounded ends) are full of nectar; this nectar attracts insects and hummingbirds. The leaves of Aquilegia canadensis are a food source for the Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius) butterfly. When damaged, this plant releases hydrogen cyanide. This mechanism prevents (most) small arthropods from feeding successfully on the plant. It also makes it mildly toxic to other wildlife and humans.
Growing on the side of a road on a sunny hillside at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Marietta, Georgia.
''Aquilegia canadensis'' is an herbaceous perennial native to woodland and rocky slopes in eastern North America, prized for its red and yellow flowers. It readily hybridizes with other species in the genus ''Aquilegia''.