Aquilegia, Hybrid Columbine 'McKana's Giant'


Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Cultivar: McKana's Giant
Additional cultivar information:(McKana group)
Synonym:Aquilegia caerulea
Synonym:Aquilegia x cultorum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Pale Yellow

Light Blue

Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Seward, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska

Capistrano Beach, California

Chico, California

Fremont, California

Long Beach, California

Oakhurst, California

Sacramento, California(2 reports)

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Waterbury, Connecticut

Lakeland, Florida

Barnesville, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Metamora, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Kirklin, Indiana

Hebron, Kentucky

Pikesville, Maryland

Randallstown, Maryland

Grand Rapids, Michigan

La Crescent, Minnesota

Wayzata, Minnesota

Madison, Mississippi

Lincoln, Nebraska

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Metuchen, New Jersey

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Granville, New York

Hannibal, New York

Rensselaer, New York

Rochester, New York

Belfield, North Dakota

Grace City, North Dakota

Cincinnati, Ohio(2 reports)

Dayton, Ohio

Lebanon, Ohio

Mount Orab, Ohio

North Plains, Oregon

Fort Mill, South Carolina

Cookeville, Tennessee

Fairview, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Middleton, Tennessee

Plano, Texas

Sandy, Utah

Camano Island, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Parkwood, Washington

Port Orchard, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 4, 2016, Gardener21 from Randallstown, MD wrote:

Sis, you don't have to destroy all the leaves to get rid of leaf miners. It just takes some time and patience pressing each leaf between thumb and forefinger to kill the tiny larva inside each one. I did this to mine last spring and later in the summer all the new growth was totally free of leaf miner. I think I have quashed the infestation totally. I have had leaf miner in them since I received them from a friend in 1988, and this is the first time I have seen unaffected leaves! I just never before thought to do this.


On Jun 7, 2015, eolivas103 from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

First off, I have to say I believe I am pushing it trying to grow this plant in our region. I think the desert climate here is a bit tough for this plant. But I have always loved these flowers. I grew the smaller variety from seed and had some success though they don't stay around too long. So I thought I would try these Giants just for fun. Well suprizingly it took 3 years to see a flower. The foilage is very pretty so I just left them there since I enjoyed that aspect. But finally this 3rd Spring, I had both a white one and red one bloom. Was it worth it to see the beautiful flower that is produced...For me...Yes. Will I try it again - Yes! With what little experience I have so far in growing these here, I would suggest, a part shade area or at least an area where the base of t... read more


On Mar 8, 2012, lindypuddin from stony mountain, MB (Zone 3a) wrote:

i start from seed and plant out in part-shade lcations zone3a.
the first year i started so many i tucked the little plants in any bare spot i saw.
the following year i was surprised by all these lovely blooms
on long stems dancing in the wind over the foliage.
due to their short-life span and ease of starting..i always have a few to pop in 'here and there'
perfect pastel colors fit in with any color scheme.
a must-have in my plantings.


On Oct 25, 2010, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

I grew this from seed three years ago and it is a lovely columbine, which blooms well into July if I deadhead it. It has become about 24" wide and the flower stalks reached about 24" (after the deer ate them to the ground this spring). Once it starts to bloom the deer seem to leave it alone. I moved it last fall and it came back well in its new location - never missed a beat.


On Oct 2, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Even though it's said to be poisonous, the deer ate it this September! Or there is a sick deer somewhere. Not too bad though because it had finished blooming and I collected the seeds already.


On Nov 22, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

So many pretty varieties of this lovely spring flower. I add a new one every year here and there, sometimes replacing ones that are less energetic. I also get lots of volunteers, usually not true to form, but I let them bloom before pulling them out.


On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite Columbines. There are so many color combinations and large blooms. Each one I see is my favorite until I see the next!

Stratification and light aid germination of seeds.

Blooms mid May to late June in my garden.


On Oct 25, 2005, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

McKana's have been reliable performers in my gardens. I have three plants that are well-over 8 years old, and they bloom profusely from June through August. They reach 48" tall, and usually require some staking as they fill with blooms.


On Jun 20, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant has been a true performer in my gardens for 5 years through drought and drown. Doesn't seem to matter to it.


On Jul 5, 2004, eryne from Ottawa,
Canada wrote:

I have been growing this plant for 2 years and find it very successful in its second year. It has been flowering for over two months (I have been dead-heading it), and is a combination of crisp white outer petals, and cream-coloured inner petals.


On May 13, 2004, violabird from Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I too love this plant and was happy to see that someone else found better blooming with deadheading. Everyone told me it wasn't needed, so I didn't do it this Spring--guess what, no more blooms! Last year they went from Late March thru June with religious deadheading.

South of Atlanta


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

Charming plants with light, airy foliage and profuse flowers. Will flower all summer if dead-headed. Self-seeds fairly easily. Can grow to 4 ft with a spread of 3 ft.

Frequently bi-coloured eg lavender and cream, pink and white, yellow and cream, etc. Plants in my garden are currently seven years old. Shorter varieties can be short-lived.


On Aug 31, 2001, Sis wrote:

Hybrid columbines may be short-lived even under the best garden conditions. They generally live 2-4 yrs. Plants self-sow prolifically and new plants are always developing (but seedlings may not be true to parent.) Plant in humusy and well-drained soil.

Sow seed outdoors in spring or summer, or sow indoors in winter after dry storing them in a refrigerator for 4-6
weeks. Plants develop quickly.

Leafminers create pale tunnels and blotches in the leaves. Remove and destroy damaged foliage. In severe cases spray weekly with insecticidal soap. Borers also attack columbines, causing the plant to collapse dramatically. Remove and destroy all portions of affected plants.