Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Columbine, European Columbine, European Crowsfoot, Granny's Bonnets
Aquilegia vulgaris

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Scarlet (Dark Red)
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
Light Blue
Medium Blue
Dark Blue
Dark Purple/Black
Maroon (Purple-Brown)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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6 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Ithiel On Jan 11, 2012, Ithiel from Detroit, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:

These cheery late-spring flowers volunteer readily in my yard. I actually never planted any of them, my neighbor has a few clumps in their yard and the seeds always find their way over here. The parent plants were a deep purple-blue, but it's offspring has came out in every shade of pink, purple and blue you can imagine and in single, double and triple-form flowers. Some of the plants even came out with dark, nearly black flowers in contrast to some of the pure white ones. It seems no two plants are alike in this sense.

Does well in shade or sun, in wet locations and dry ones as well. A very carefree plant that is more than welcome in my garden and as a plus, attracts hummingbirds, too.

Neutral anelson77 On May 19, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These are weedy volunteers in Seattle gardens, but very pretty in the spring. I pull up the ones that bloom in washed up colors or if I dont like the flower shape. The ones with graceful, blue flowers i keep. I cut them to the ground in the summer when the foliage starts to look ratty.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have these growing throughout my gardens. They have self-seeded, and seem to stay, for the most part, true. I let them stay where they are until I need the space for something else.

Stratification and light aid germination of seeds.

Blooms in May in my garden.

Positive Gindee77 On May 31, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love the colors and bloom time of this plant. It's hardy in my zone 5 garden. Columbine makes a great underplanting or companion plant for roses.

Positive Hase1 On Apr 22, 2005, Hase1 from Denton, TX wrote:

Bought plant from garden center, but didn't bloom the first season. Plant receives morning sun, afternoon shade and does extremely well this year here in North Texas. The "Winky Blue-white" turned out to be a dark purple with white center, still pretty, but I was hoping for a bright blue.

Positive kadawn74 On Aug 19, 2004, kadawn74 from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is growing VERY well under an evergreen and in deep shade against the south side of my home.

Positive sue1952 On Apr 14, 2004, sue1952 from Utica, MI wrote:

In SE Michigan - this common form of Columbine self sows pretty easily. I have even taken seed pods and spread them to other areas of my garden. They pop up in the best places. Always bring comments.

Neutral Karenn On Apr 16, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have grown a variety of aquilegia hybrids, as well as 'Nora Barlow' (blue & white as opposed to the more common pink & white). I also have grown a very sturdy "open pollinated" variety courtesy of the local birds, that is a very rich purple spurless hybrid.

In my climate (Chicago northwest suburbs) usually ALL aquilegias' foliage get ratty looking after flowering. I let the plants set seed (on those I like), save the seed (before it scatters) for fall sowing, and cut back foliage, flowers & all. New rosettes (much shorter) grow back attractively! Another hint about this plant, keep different hybrids VERY FAR apart - these cross-breed easily and readily!

Neutral lantana On Jan 4, 2001, lantana from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Grows in Heat Zones 9-3.

Neutral poppysue On Nov 1, 2000, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Columbines are available in many shapes and colors. Aquilegia vulgaris is the parent of many of the fancier hybrids available. Theyre hardy from zones 3-9 and plants will grow 2 4 feet tall. Its an easy plant to grow from seed and it will brighten up any partly shady spot of the garden. It prefers a soil thats rich in organic matter and has adequate moister. It will tolerate less ideal conditions but plants may be shorter lived and not as vigorous. It blooms in late spring or early summer and the foliage remains attractive through the season.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Seward, Alaska
Carlotta, California
Elk Grove, California
Grass Valley, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Stockton, California
Denver, Colorado
Bradley, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Villa Rica, Georgia
Hampton, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana (2 reports)
Hebron, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Cumberland, Maryland
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Detroit, Michigan
Romeo, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rosemount, Minnesota
Marietta, Mississippi
Auburn, New Hampshire
Bronx, New York
Fayetteville, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Dayton, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
Oak Hill, Ohio
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Baker City, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Memphis, Tennessee
Denton, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Broadway, Virginia
Nellysford, Virginia
Bremerton, Washington
Clearlake, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Morgantown, West Virginia
Racine, Wisconsin

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