Aquilegia, European Columbine, European Crowsfoot, Granny's Bonnets 'Winky Blue and White'

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)
Cultivar: Winky Blue and White
Additional cultivar information:(Winky series)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Light Green

Medium Green



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Bessemer, Alabama

Anchorage, Alaska

Byers, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Suwanee, Georgia

Grayslake, Illinois

Hinsdale, Illinois

Wilmette, Illinois

Twelve Mile, Indiana

Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Gardiner, Maine

Quincy, Massachusetts

Eastpointe, Michigan

Northfield, Minnesota

Sullivan, Missouri

Melvin Village, New Hampshire

Flanders, New Jersey

Angel Fire, New Mexico

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Painesville, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Spring, Texas

Roanoke, Virginia

Bonney Lake, Washington

Federal Way, Washington

Prairie Ridge, Washington

Mindoro, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 9, 2016, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is my favorite columbine! It has large beautiful blue and white upward facing flowers. Grows well in our climate. It really will distribute seeds freely, but I haven't found them further than about 1 foot away from the plants even in our 40-50 mph winds. The best way to propagate them is to allow the seed heads to dry on the plant, then collect them and distribute them (no need to dig a hole and plant, just throw them on soil without other vegetation) either immediately or wait until early the next spring. I've done both and not sure which is best yet. The ONLY hesitation I have about this plant is it dies way back during the heat of summer, but comes alive again in the fall. I cut it pretty far back in the summer because it appears almost dead. However, this area gets pretty ... read more


On Feb 24, 2015, ToddLo from Sumner, WA wrote:

We planted some of these years ago. They are vigorous and happy, the first of our columbines to come up every year. The Pacific Northwest was made for them, apparently, because they have found their way to every corner of our garden, all by themselves. We've learned to deadhead them before they go to seed because they are prolific and will travel!


On Oct 1, 2011, PinkStar from Painesville, OH wrote:

I fell in love with this flower as soon as I saw it in my local nursery's catalog, which is what I do all winter long. I bought 2 small plants in the end of spring 2010, they grew beautifully and rewarded me with blooms this spring, 2011. Unfortunately, I live in a condo and during spring clean up the 'landscapers' decided to pull one of them but I was lucky enough that they do not understand anything about 'weeds' so they just broke it off, leaving the roots intact. Needless to say I was very unhappy, to say the least, but it came back and it is not as full as that other plant but I hope it will bloom just as good next spring.


On Mar 28, 2011, LazLo from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

A local plant guru must be descended from the Grinch who Stole Christmas, IMHO. I say the more the freakin' merrier and I hereby volunteer to come to the rescue of any other Grinch local to me who needs columbine relief.


On Aug 17, 2009, paulaj0 from Imperial, PA wrote:

Our local gardening guru has warned us never to plant columbine. She says it will come up so much you'll regret it forever.


On Aug 17, 2009, lennyfrog1 from Columbia, IL wrote:

I would love to have some seeds from this, if anyone
has any available. I love Columbine and I love the color
of this one. I noticed that it was grown around my area
and hope it does ok for me.


On Aug 17, 2009, blumz from Trussville, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is the first columbine I ever planted several years ago. It has never let me down. It blooms more prolifically that any of the others I have. I've shared the seeds with many people and they are so easy to germinate. I love to broadcast a handful of seeds over different areas of my gardens and then be surprised the next spring when they bloom. I grow them successfully in full sun, partial sun, and in shade; but I will say that they do best in areas of my gardens where the soil is slightly moist and doesn't get baked dry. Occasionally, I have one that is visited by leaf miners -- evidenced by the squiggly lines where they have eaten the chlorophyl from inside the leaves -- but it doesn't seem to affect the blooms.


On Aug 17, 2009, bmblsad from Northfield, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I planted 3 of these in a new shade garden at the end of the season last year. They were so pretty when they came up this year...but then disaster struck. I don't know what it was, but something ate all 3 down to nothing and I think they are gone for good. It happened so fast that there were only one or two leaves left on the plants when I saw it. Would love some info about pests that make a little squiggly line like a worm through the leaves and then gobble the plant to nothing.


On May 25, 2008, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I got this from Tabasco as a mature flowering plant and it transplanted perfectly.
Never wilted and never dropped a blossom.

OK it's really more Purple than Blue in most light but still....
Unless there's a "Winky Purple and White" I'll place it here.

A marvelous little Columbine.
Just won't stop flowering or forming seed pods.
I can't see where this wouldn't make a perfect edging plant or for that matter a perfect Container plant.


On Mar 29, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
I rated this columbine "Neutral" because I have not grown it myself. It is a very uniform, compact form of columbine that is very erect. The single blooms face upward and it supposedly will continue to produce blooms well after the first set. It is a suitable plant to grow in containers and in the border. It makes a nice patio plant.