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A picture of a Columbine


Aquilegia vulgaris

Also known as

American Bluebells, Akelei (Afr.), American snapdragon, Capon's tail, Cock's foot, Culverwort, Dove plant, God's breath, Granny's bonnets, Lady's shoes, Lion's herb, Naked woman's foot, Pigeon flower, Pigeon foot, Sow wort, Common columbine

Photo by Sima.Simona (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

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 vulgaris is usually found as a wild species with blue nodding bonnetts, commonly known by the name Common Columbine. This plant is from the Ranunculaceae family. There is a long history of cultivation and development in gardens which has resulted in most beautiful variations of colour, the flowers include shades of mauve, purple, pink and white. An easily grown, popular plant found throughout cottage gardens, this Columbine will rapidly self-seed and soon fill your garden with an array of colour during spring. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Columbine

Susceptible to Aquilegia downy mildew.

How to harvest Columbine

Seeds can be harvested and collected, once mature in late summer. Aquilegia vulgaris will self seed in situ or seeds can be collected and sown again in early spring or Autumn.

How to propagate Columbine


Collect seeds when dry in late summer and early Autumn. Seeds can be sown immediately or the following spring. Seeds should be sown just below the surface at a depth of 5mm.

Special features of Columbine

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Other uses of Columbine

A flowering ornamental for:- Rock garden, wildflower/meadow, border This plant suits being included in planting schemes for exposed or sheltered sites with south or east aspects.

Flowers - Sow Under Cover in October.

Thinking ahead to next year - sow these seeds for early spring and summer colour.

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