aquilegia

A playful flower for the spring garden that evokes images of alpine meadows and woodland treasures. When happy in the garden, columbine can reseed and to create a naturalized effect.

The native habitat of columbines is remarkably diverse. So is the range of flower colors and styles. Blooms can be cupped, bicolored pastel, or fluffy doubles in jewel tones. With the range of flowers and growing conditions, one is sure to find a columbine to fit into their garden. Short-lived hybrid columbines require full sun or very light shade to provide stimulating flower displays. Species columbines do best in a light, moist, but well-drained soil, rich in organic matter.

Columbines have been popular for many years. The foliage is attractive and long lasting. The colorful flowers attract hummingbirds, which are simply mesmerizing in the garden. The flowers are distinctive, often bicolored, with hooked spurs, and are carried either singly or in panicles above the blue-green bottom leaves. Their airy texture combines well with fluffy border perennials such as Nepeta and Geranium, or in a cottage garden with Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum) and foxgloves (Digitalis). Alpine varieties are perfect components for rock gardens, containers and other well drained locations. They pair well with Dianthus, Armeria, Saxifrage and other rock garden treasures.

Photos credits below belong to our supplier Blooming Advantage Nursery.

aquilegia formosa

Aquilegia formosa: Western columbine

This is our native Aquilegia. Read more about it in our native section.

aquilegia

Aquilegia 'Origami Blue and White'

One of our top sellers at the nursery. Classic crisp white and blue flowers in April and May.

Grows 24-36" tall and wide in full to part sun. Zones 3-8.

aquilegia

Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns'

Terrific compact form growing 8"tall and wide. Brick-red flowers with yellow center. Full sun to part shade. Zone 3.

aquilegia

Aquilegia chrysantha 'Yellow Queen'

Found in Southern USA. Vigorous tall stems and large bright yellow flowers with long curved spurs, slightly paler yellow in color.

Several cultivars are available, including long spurred form from Xera plants.

Height 32-36 inches, spread 12-32 inches.

Aquilegia flabellata

Native to Japan. A. flabellata 'Nana Alba' is all white with green tints. Hooked, short spurs to 1 inch long. Differs from most other columbines in having thicker, darker leaves with often overlapping segments. Great for rock gardens. Stocky plant 8 inches to 1.5 feet tall, and 1 foot wide. Grows in full sun to shade. Zone 3.

Varieties include:

Aquilegia flabellata
'Nana Alba' - all white flowers with green tints.
Aquilegia flabellata
'Blue Angel' - bright violet-blue and white flowers.

Aquilegia vulgaris

This highly cultivated species is found over most of Europe. It has ferny foliage and flowers with hooked spurs in shades of blue, mauve, pink white and red. Double flowered forms do not have spurs. The straight species is seldom seen in gardens but there are many cultivars. The grow in full to part sun 12-36 inches tall, and spread 8-18 inches. Hardy in zones 3-9.

Columbine Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow' Flower 2000px

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow'(black columbine)

30" tall 18" wide

Good for cut flowers

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Clementine White' J1

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Clementine Series'

Compact, growing 12-18" tall and wide

Double out facing flowers in blue, purple, red salmon and white.

aquilegia

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Leprechaun Gold'

Stunning golden and marbled green foliage contrasts well with deep purple flowers late April through May.

Grows 24" tall 18" wide.

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.

Perennials

Actaea: Bugbane

Natives

Native Actaea: Bugbane

Perennials

Agastache: Hyssop

Perennials

Anemone: Windflower

Perennials

Aquilegia: Columbine

Natives

Native Aquilegia: Columbine

Perennials

Artemisia

Natives

Asarum: Wild Ginger

Natives

Asclepias: Milkweed

Perennials

Aster

Perennials

Astilbe: False Spirea

Perennials

Bellium: Miniature Daisy

Perennials

Bergenia: Pigsqueak

Perennials

Brunnera: Bugloss

Perennials

Canna Lily

Natives

Camassia: Camas

Perennials

Chrysanthemum

Perennials

Coreopsis: Tickweed

Perennials

Corydalis

Perennials

Cyclamen

Bulbs

Dahlia

Bulbs

Delosperma: Ice Plant

Perennials

Delphinium: Larkspur

Perennials

Dianthus: Carnation

Perennials

Dicentra: Bleeding Heart

Natives

Dodecatheon: Shooting Star

Perennials

Echinacea: Coneflower

Perennials

Epimedium

Natives

Erigeron: Fleabane

Natives

Eriophyllum: Oregon Sunshine

Perennials

Erodium: Alpine Geranium

Perennials

Eupatorium: Joe-Pye Weed

Perennials

Euphorbia: Spurge

Natives

Fragaria: Wild Strawberry

Bulbs

Fritillaria

Perennials

Hardy Fuchsia

Perennials

Hardy Geranium

Perennials

Geum: Avens

Perennials

Helenium: Sneezeweed

Perennials

Hellebore

Perennials

Hellebore: Gold Collection

Perennials

Hellebore: Winter Jewel

Perennials

Heuchera: Coral Bells

Perennials

Hosta: Plantain Lily

Perennials

Iberis: Candytuft

Bulbs

Iris

Natives

Native Iris

Perennials

Kniphofia: Red Hot Poker

Perennials

Leptinella

Perennials

Leucanthemum: Shasta Daisy

Natives

Lewisia: Bitterroot

Perennials

Ligularia

Perennials

Monarda: Bee Balm

Perennials

Moss

Bulbs

Narcissus: Daffodil

Perennials

Paeonia: Peony

Perennials

Papaver: Poppy

Perennials

Parahebe

Natives

Penstemon: Beard Tongue

Perennials

Perovskia: Russian Sage

Perennials

Primula: Primrose

Perennials

Rudbeckia: Black-eyed Susan

Perennials

Salvia

Perennials

Santolina: Lavender Cotton

Perennials

Sedum

Perennials

Evergreen Sedum

Natives

Native Sedum: Stonecrop

Perennials

Sempervivum: Hen & Chicks

Natives

Sidalcea: Checker Mallow

Natives

Sisyrinchium

Blue-eyed Grass
Natives

Solidago: Goldenrod

Natives

Synthyris: Native Figwort

Perennials

Top Shade Perennials

Perennials

Top Sun Perennials

Perennials

Tricyrtis: Toad Lily

Natives

Trillium: Wake Robin

Bulbs

Tulip

Natives

Vancouveria: Inside-out Flower

Perennials

Vinca: Periwinkle

Perennials

Viola: Violet

Natives

Native Viola: Violet

Perennials

Zantedeschia: Calla Lily