Alphabetical Plant Listing

Aquilegia caerulea (Rocky Mountain Columbine)

Rocky Mountain Columbine, Colorado Blue Columbine, Colorado Columbine, Blue Columbine, Aquilegia coerulea


Native from montana to Arizona and New Mexico, award-winning Aquilegia caerulea, commonly known as Rocky Mountain Columbine, features huge, 2-3 in. wide (5-7 cm), long-spurred, two-tone flowers with star-like, creamy white petals and violet blue sepals and spurs. Bushy yellow stamens add a third color. Irresistible! The blossoms are upward facing, for a perfect display, and rise elegantly above a lovely fern-like, gray-green foliage. Blooming for 4-6 weeks in late spring to early summer, this perennial is Colorado's State Flower and a lovely addition in the shade garden!

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • Free-flowering, this Columbine grows in a bushy, upright clump, up to 24 in. tall (60 cm) and 12 in. wide (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 averagemedium moisturewell-drained soils. Seriously dislikes poorly drained soils! Richmoist 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 bedsbordersrock gardenscottage gardensshade gardens or naturalized areas. This Columbine may also be grown in containers or window boxes and it makes good cut flowers lasting up to 2 weeks in a vase!
  • 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.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Aquilegia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 9" – 1' (22cm – 30cm)
Spacing 9" – 12" (22cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Picture courtesy of Botanik Foto

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Aquilegia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 9" – 1' (22cm – 30cm)
Spacing 9" – 12" (22cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Aquilegia

Guides with Aquilegia

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