Master Gardener Plant Highlight: Columbine

— Written By


Every year my Piedmont Daylily Club has an “anything but a daylily” plant auction in April, usually in a member’s garden. And for the past two years, I have bid on Columbines. This spring they have matured and have brightened my garden. Columbine is the common name from the Latin Columbia but the scientific genus name is Aquilegia from the Latin word for eagle.

There are approximately 300 species of this perennial with five-petaled flowers that have long, backward extending spurs. They come in many colors. I have purple, red, and yellow ones but I’ve seen white, blue, salmon and pink at the garden centers. Their height will depend upon several factors but on average they reach around two feet in height and bloom in late spring and early summer.

Columbines grow well in zones 3-9. Partial shade is recommended. One of the reasons I like this plant so much is that it is subject to few problems and is drought resistant since they often live on rocky ledges in the wild. Because Columbine has colorful flowers, it gives your yard a lot of interest in spring. The flowers nod their heads down, and their centers take on a honeycomb look. Best of all, these are easy to grow plants and if you don’t deadhead them, you will soon have plenty of replacements.

One source of information is The Spruce.

Grow and enjoy.

Mitchell Hagler- Extension Master Gardener Cabarrus County