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)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Atlanta, Georgia

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

Madison, Mississippi

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

Sandy, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 11, 2012, Ithiel from Dearborn Heights, 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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

Grows in Heat Zones 9-3.


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.