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.
This is our native Aquilegia. Read more about it in our native section.
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.
Terrific compact form growing 8"tall and wide. Brick-red flowers with yellow center. Full sun to part shade. Zone 3.
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.
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.
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.
30" tall 18" wide
Good for cut flowers
Compact, growing 12-18" tall and wide
Double out facing flowers in blue, purple, red salmon and white.
Stunning golden and marbled green foliage contrasts well with deep purple flowers late April through May.
Grows 24" tall 18" wide.
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.