Photo credit, C Gracie.
|We have few red-flowered plants in the eastern United States, most likely due to our paucity of hummingbird species as compared to other parts of the country. Red is a color known to be attractive to hummingbirds, but not as much so to other potential pollinators. The blooming of columbine coincides with the return of ruby-throated hummingbirds from their winter locales and provides them with a welcome source of nectar after their long journeys.
The nectar is held at the tips of the long spurs, where it is accessible only to hummingbirds and some bumblebees. Columbine is frequently found growing on rocky ledges and cliff faces.
Read more in Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast