Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Alpine Columbine
Aquilegia alpina

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Species: alpina (AL-pin-a) (Info)

Synonym:Aquilegia montana

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
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
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 23 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Tammylp On May 16, 2006, Tammylp from Lima, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love these little guys. They are so tough in my garden; I can dig them up and move them even when flowering and they continue to bloom. They continue to multiply (from seed) and now I have enough for a mass plant in my back garden. Last year I had not the first sign of a leaf miner, never sprayed (first time).

Neutral SalmonMe On Oct 23, 2004, SalmonMe from Springboro, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is really a lovely plant, but there are LOTS of lovely plants out there. This one is so very susceptible to leaf miners (you can almost count on them yearly here in Ohio) that it's debatable whether or not it's garden worthy for those who don't want to coddle it. If it is infested with miners, it can be cut to the ground and will recover foliage quickly. More than one cutting down may be necessary in a season, though, and flowering may be lost.

Positive Karenn On May 16, 2004, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

If you are using columbines in your gardens, be sure to isolate different varieties - this genus readily "cross-breeds". So if you want one to "stay true" you must plant it in a very separate area of your garden, away from other columbines. Also, columbines are very short-lived perennials - they usually self-sow their seeds, so as to return the following year. If you don't want them "flinging themselves around the garden", you should cut the dried seed pods before they release the seeds and simply sprinkle some into the crown of the plant, and either share seeds with others or dispose of the rest.

Positive flowergal On Apr 14, 2003, flowergal from West Danville, VT wrote:

This plant accidentally showed up from seeds blowing over into my yard from my neighbor. It was a very deep purple I now have three differant colors, deep purple, Light pink and bluish purple. I have had success in both using seeds, and replanting seedlings off of the original plant itself. Very pretty plant when full grown.

Neutral CanadaGoose On Mar 19, 2003, CanadaGoose from Oakville, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very pretty, but short lived perennial.


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

Forest Falls, California
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Holland, Massachusetts
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Akron, Ohio
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Lima, Ohio
Piqua, Ohio
Springboro, Ohio
Grants Pass, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
The Dalles, Oregon
Lafayette, Tennessee
Ogden, Utah
West Danville, Vermont
Leesburg, Virginia
Manassas, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington (2 reports)

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