Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fan Columbine
Aquilegia flabellata

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Species: flabellata (fla-bel-AH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Aquilegia akitensis

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 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)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid 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:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly 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
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #1 of Aquilegia flabellata by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
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By goswimmin
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By Sally_Denver
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By LilyLover_UT
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Sally_Denver On Aug 22, 2005, Sally_Denver from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

A great plant and stunning bloomer for a part sun area of my rock garden in Denver. Happy with roots under a rock Foliage tends to burn a bit when full sun hits (later than bloom time), but resists powdery mildew. Also have the white version, with very blue foliage - another favorite.

Positive LilyLover_UT On Jan 16, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite columbines. The short plants bloom early and look especially nice in the rock garden, sowing themselves around the other plants.

Positive Weezingreens On Sep 30, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Blue Fan columbine are one of my favorite spring columbine. The flowers tend to grow closer to the plant, and they are well adapted to the rock garden. The leaves tend to hug closer to the plant, as well, forming a compact mound.

Neutral Baa On Feb 11, 2002, Baa wrote:

Small perennial from East Asia.

Has soft, mid green leaves divided into 3 (ternate) leaflets or sometimes into 6, leaflets are lobed giving the plant a fern like appearence. Bears pendant or almost outward facing, light blue flowers with white tips on the petals.

Flowers April-July

Likes moist, well drained, humus rich soil in partial shade. Will increase where happy.


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

Juneau, Alaska
Seward, Alaska
Denver, Colorado
Wilmette, Illinois
Hebron, Kentucky
Fallston, Maryland
Grand Haven, Michigan
Lexington, Virginia

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