The Main Plant entry for Columbines (Aquilegia)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Columbines.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Flowers: Showy
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Uses: Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Can handle transplanting
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger

Common names
  • Columbine

Photo Gallery
Location: In my Northern California garden
Date: 2010-04-16
Location: New Zealand 
Date: 2017-10-27
Hoping to identify variety of columbine
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2008-06-11
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2008-06-11
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2008-05-21
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2006-05-13
Location: FPF Home, Warren County, Kentucky
Date: 2022-06-12
Gifted to me by a friend, from her plants. 06.12.22
This plant is tagged in:
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

  • Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Nov 22, 2011 7:35 PM concerning plant:
    These are one of my all time favorite perennials. They often self sow and cross, so I have a large variety of colors and sizes. Seed can be winter sown and needs light to germinate. Transplanting should be done when plants are small for much better success rate. Large plants have deep tap roots. They are short lived, so best to allow some seedlings to mature to give a good show in the garden.
  • Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Sep 24, 2015 9:21 AM concerning plant:
    Columbines are my favorite early spring flower, but are short lived for me. I might get two good seasons from a plant, then they lose vigor and either come back very small with few flowers, or reseed themselves as 'granny bonnets' - plain-jane short spurred light purple. My solution is to simply add several healthy new plants every year and enjoy the rotating show.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 20, 2013 3:40 AM concerning plant:
    Taken from wikipedia's page at:

    "Columbine is a hardy perennial, which propagates by seed. It will grow to a height of 15 to 20 inches. It will grow in full sun; however, it prefers growing in partial shade and well drained soil, and is able to tolerate average soils and dry soil conditions. Columbine is rated at hardiness zone 3 in the USA so does not require mulching or protection in the winter.

    Large numbers of hybrids are available for the garden, since the British A. vulgaris was joined by other European and North American varieties. Aquilegia species are very interfertile, and will self-sow. Some varieties are short-lived so are better treated as biennials.

    They are used as food plants by some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) caterpillars. These are mainly of noctuid moths – noted for feeding on many poisonous plants without harm – such as Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae), Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae) and Mouse Moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis). The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), a geometer moth, also uses columbine as a larval foodplant."
  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 22, 2013 3:25 PM concerning plant:
    Columbines remind me of spring meadows. Fortunately, we can have these meadow flowers in our gardens. Often the individual plants don't last long, dying out after a few years. Usually seedlings have popped up to replace the missing plants.
  • Posted by KFredenburg (Black Hills, SD - Zone 5a) on Jun 6, 2020 12:33 PM concerning plant:
    These are graceful plants with attractive ferny foliage and yellow, blue, red, white or bicolored flowers. Long narrow spurs extend backward from the flower.
    For best results (if planting more than one of these plants), space each one at least 1 and a half feet apart from each other.
    Landscape uses:
    American columbine and fan columbine are appealing plants for a rock garden r the front of a flower border. Use the taller forms in the middle of a border, where they will bloom for several weeks. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Columbines have abundant nectar and attract hummingbirds.
Plant Events from our members
piksihk On December 14, 2019 Seeds sown
mix frt bed/pecan tree (bet. azaleas)
piksihk On February 2, 2018 Seeds sown
Blue, violet, red,
Korean pack
piksihk On November 13, 2017 Seeds sown
Korean seeds,
piksihk On January 6, 2015 Seeds sown
seeds from Korea
piksihk On December 27, 2014 Seeds sown
Yasso F. and red columbine
piksihk On June 21, 2014 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
dragonfetti On January 12, 2015 Obtained plant
WM; .20 per pack; one pack; Barlow's Doubles Mix.
SCButtercup On March 30, 2017 Bloomed
SCButtercup On March 15, 2016 Bloomed
lovesblooms On February 9, 2017 Seeds sown
w/s labeled "columbine mix"
MrsBinWY On September 7, 2019 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
Plants were fine but nothing spectacular. Removed them to make way for something more desirable.
MrsBinWY On May 25, 2018 Transplanted
On 5-25-2018, planted 8 in the back side yard.
MrsBinWY On November 25, 2017 Seeds sown
Experiment: Eight (8) 2.25" pots in garden hoop, seeds from Desirai (GW) ~2015. Zero germination.
MrsBinWY On November 25, 2017 Seeds sown
Experiment: Eight (8) 2.25" pots in garden hoop, seeds from 25th & House 2017. All 8 pots germinated & grew well. Will find a place in the yard for them.
antsinmypants On May 13, 2022 Transplanted
Pink & Yellow Bi-color into sun garden 2.
GardensJohn On April 10, 2021 Obtained plant
I love Columbines. Tried growing some about twenty years ago when we moved to Virginia from Colorado. They lived about two years, but never seeded themselves. This year I decided to try again. Planted them in a more shady location in my garden this time hoping they will do better.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Beautiful! by plantladylin Nov 8, 2012 7:36 PM 13
This aquilegia appears to be a hybrid, not Aquilegia flavescens by growitall Jan 11, 2014 12:18 PM 0
Not Aquilegia skinneri by growitall Mar 26, 2014 11:25 PM 1
Not Aquilegia saximontana by growitall Mar 28, 2014 7:12 PM 0
Not Aquilegia saximontana by growitall Apr 8, 2014 5:08 PM 1
Pretty columbine but not representative of 'Blue Barlow' by growitall Apr 12, 2014 6:10 PM 1
Untitled by growitall May 9, 2014 7:27 PM 2
A possible hybrid thereof, but not Aquilegia chrysantha by growitall Nov 4, 2014 9:26 PM 1

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by Murky and is called "Dahlias"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.