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A picture of a Columbine


Aquilegia spp.

Also known as

Granny's Bonnet

Wald-Akelei by Python (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Columbine

A photo of Columbine
A photo of Columbine
A photo of Columbine
A photo of Columbine
A photo of Columbine

Columbine Overview

Aquilegia is a group of around 70 perennial species grown for their attractive bell-shaped flowers which have striking spurred petals. These are borne on long stems and they come in many colours - cultivated varieties in particular, are often bi- or multi-coloured. Distinctive bright green or blue-green leaves are divided into 2 or 3 lobes. Known also as Granny's Bonnet and Columbine, Aquilegia in the wild, are commonly found in meadow and woodland habitats at high altitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. They are therefore hardy and can tolerate some shade. Flowering in late spring and early summer, they add colour to a wide variety of garden situations. Under the right conditions, Aquilegias self-seed easily and can be seen growing in clumps and drifts in informal planting schemes such as cottage gardens. Small alpine varieties are also popular. Their preferences are for fertile, moist, well-drained soil; in full sun or partial shade. Alpine species require sharply drained growing media.

Common problems with Columbine

Leaf miners, sawflies and caterpillers may be a problem for some species/cultivars.

How to propagate Columbine



Divide named cultivars in spring. But disturb roots as little as possible.

Special features of Columbine

Attractive flowers

Beautiful blooms

Attracts useful insects

Flowers - Sow Under Cover in May

Sow these seeds for late summer colour and to get an early start on next year.

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Looking Good In May - Top 10

Traditionally flowering in May, these flowers will be at their best this month.

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