Aquilegia Species, Colorado Blue Columbine, Rocky Mountain Columbine

Aquilegia caerulea

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aquilegia (a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (Info)
Species: caerulea (see-ROO-lee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Aquilegia advena
Synonym:Aquilegia macrantha
Synonym:Aquilegia oreophila
Synonym:Aquilegia piersoniana
Synonym:Aquilegia pinetorum



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

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

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; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

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

Seed Collecting:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Seward, Alaska

Auberry, California

Lawndale, California

Los Angeles, California

Merced, California

Richmond, California

Temecula, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Laporte, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado

Pueblo, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

New Britain, Connecticut

Winsted, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Naperville, Illinois

Wilmette, Illinois

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Clinton, Mississippi

Greenville, New Hampshire

Jamesburg, New Jersey

Alden, New York

Rochester, New York

Newton, North Carolina

Shelby, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Hamilton, Ohio

Westerville, Ohio

Baker City, Oregon


Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Lubbock, Texas

Plano, Texas

Rockwall, Texas

Sour Lake, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Sandy, Utah

Arlington, Virginia

Lynchburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

North Bend, Washington

Poulsbo, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 26, 2016, Krtka from Lynchburg, VA wrote:

This plant will self-sow readily here in Central Virginia (7a) if given Eastern exposure, mulched, and protected from the hot afternoon sun. Deer WILL browse this plant.


On Jan 31, 2016, Ancolie88 from Innsbruck,
Austria (Zone 6b) wrote:

This columbine is amazing! I often try to grow it here in Austria, but unlike its hybrids, it allwas dissapears after one blooming season.


On Jan 30, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Hates the hot humid summers of the southeastern US.


On Jun 1, 2012, Wildernessgirl from Mountain Village, CO wrote:

I grew from seed and have been very impressed. I live in Telluride, CO which is San Juan Mountains. I think elevation almost 10,000 feet and zone 3. I made the mistake of planting the seedlings that I grew that spring in fall. The place I planted was almost full shade and very moist and the seedling were very small. I didn't even have time to cover them with mulch before it snowed. I didn't expect to see any the following spring and was shocked to see that they all came back. They did even better than the lupines I planted. The seem to be growing very fast and don't seem to need anything from me. Very beautiful shades of light blue, lavender and white.


On Aug 30, 2010, sketchkat06 from Lawndale, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I really like these little plants. In my garden they have done well in shade, part sun and almost full sun (with a bit of extra care). The bloom period can be extended several weeks or a couple of months with regular dead-heading. They also seem to do best if I can repot them once a year to keep them from getting root-bound in my containers.


On Jul 12, 2008, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Blooms late May to early June in my garden.
Light and stratification aid germination.


On Apr 18, 2008, mbhoakct76 from Winsted, CT wrote:

A great easy to grow plant, continuous flowers throughout the late spring and summer. easy to care for also


On May 29, 2006, janders from Rockwall, TX wrote:

I had to give the plant extra supports because the heavy flowers would fall over at times, but this is a great plant. I put it right next to a window to enjoy its unusual flowers.


On Jul 27, 2004, girltoy from Sandy, UT wrote:

When I first moved into my house, I thought this plant growing in the back yard was a weed. This year I failed to weed as well as the previous years, and boy was I glad. It has come up in all kinds of places in my yard. Good soil to extremely bad soil. It even grew in my graveled driveway on the north side of my house where it received NO water. The seed were very easy to gather and I'm going to spread them everywhere!!!


On Mar 22, 2004, celtic_dolphin from Boone, NC (Zone 4b) wrote:

I absolutely love this flower! Leafminers are definitely a problem, but the flowers are beautiful enough to make you forget the leaves. Seed collecting is easy, but the seeds must be chilled for 4 to 6 weeks before sowing. The seeds also need light to germinate, so don't cover them, just sprinkle them on top of the soil.


On May 20, 2002, naturepatch from Morris, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The blue-green of the foliage is phenomenal. Flowers are large and a lovely blue. Will cross pollenate with other columbine varieties. Will grow even in deep shade(ie-north side of a house). Is prone to leaf miner damage. Self-sows readily. Seeds need light to germinate. Do not cover.