An old garden favourite, Aquilegia vulgaris,
the common Columbine, is native to Europe. The
newer forms have originated from the fusion of
various species that are native to North America
and parts of Asia, notably Siberia and Japan.
The plants form compact clumps with foliage of
fern-like aspect and stems of varying height,
carrying branching stems bearing singly many flowers,
two or more inches across, and noteworthy on account
of their long spurs.
Long-spurred hybrids (Aquilegia x cultorum) are
the most usually planted, although the red and
yellow species (A. californica, Aquilegia canadensis
and Aquilegia skinneri as well as the soft golden
Aquilegia chrysantha and the blue Aquilegia caerule)
are well worth attention.
A hybrid “Crimson Star”, is a dwarf
form with red and white flowers reaching about
a foot in height.
At the front of the border the Columbine should
be massed for effect, and so long as the soil
is reasonably fertile it will give a good account
Propagation is by seed sown as soon as ripe to
produce plants that will flower in the following
The flowering season is in May and June.
See also Aquilegia