Native to Europe's high meadows and mountain slopes of the Alps, Aquilegia Alpina, commonly known as Alpine Columbine, is a compact species with charming, bright violet-blue, bonnet-shaped, nodding flowers (2-3 in. wide; 5-7 cm), which rise elegantly on slender stems above a lovely fern-like, blue-green foliage. Blooming for 4-6 weeks in late spring to early summer, this perennial might re-bloom in the fall. It is perfect for adding color to the shade garden!
- Grows in a bushy, upright clump, up to 18-24 in. tall (45-60 cm) and 10-12 in. wide (25-30 cm). This perennial is generally short-lived but will self-seed prolifically to form large colonies in satisfactory growing conditions.
- Performs best in full sun to part shade, in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Seriously dislikes poorly drained soils! Rich, moist soils in part shade are preferred. Do not let the soil dry out.
- Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, but is ignored by rabbits and deer!
- Easy to grow, this plant is a welcomed addition to beds, borders, cottage gardens, shade gardens or naturalized areas.
- Susceptible to leaf miner.
- May be grown from seed sown directly in the garden in spring (after danger of frost has passed).
- Remove faded flowering stems to promote additional bloom. Cut to the ground when the foliage declines (around midsummer).
- Contact with the sap may irritate the skin
Aquilegia is a genus of clump-forming, short-lived perennials noted for their late spring to midsummer blooms of single or double, short-spurred or spurless flowers, in a variety of colors ranging from blue to violet to white to pink to red. A classic element of herbaceous borders, Columbines mix beautifully with peonies, irises, alliums and roses.