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Smallflower Columbine
Aquilegia brevistyla

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Species: brevistyla (brev-ee-STY-luh) (Info)


Alpines and Rock Gardens



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 1: below -45.6 C (-55 F)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Anchorage, Alaska

Kelso, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 29, 2006, Grasmussen from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

The Small flowered Columbine, Aquilegia brevistyla, received its name as the result of an optical allusion. The Western Columbine, Aquilegia formosa, which is found in A. brevistyla's territory, has flowers of approximately the same size, but is a taller plant. However, the bright red & yellow of A. Formosa flowers stand out against the background. The pale blue and white of A. brevistyla flowers just blend into the blue-green foliage, and appear small and inconspicuous.
Aquilegia brevistyla requires partial to full shad. When I tried to grow it in full sun the foliage burned, and the plants were stunted.


On Jan 20, 2005, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

This tall woodland columbine grows in Northwest America from Alberta to Alaska. The blue blooms have relatively short spurs.