This page Sponsored by:
A potpourri (below) of columbine/Aquilegia species
information as a supplement to other articles.
It's a plant-based page rather than our usual topic-based page.
It's a pivot point, one list of links to ours
and others' articles that involve columbine/ Aquilegia
Many forms, colors and hybrids
Eastern columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) has
down-facing flowers of red-orange and yellow. Other species'
flowers face up and occur in a broader color range. Hybrids between
the eastern columbine and blue Rocky Mountain columbine (A.
saximontana) or soft yellow golden columbine (A.
chrysantha) produce up-facing flowers of many colors and
It's fun to grow a variety of columbine species but almost
impossible to keep the collection stable because the species
interbreed freely. Just when you become attached to a drift of
white-blooming hybrids you can be sure that self-sown yellow- or
red-flowered seedlings will begin to usurp that spot.
Magnets for both desirable and pesty wildlife
Hummingbirds love every kind of columbine. So do columbine
sawflies, insects that devour the leaves as bloom season ends, and
columbine leaf miner, insects that feed within the leaf,
disfiguring it with their serpentine tracks. Eastern columbine has
some resistance to the sawfly.
Most of the growers we've talked to and
our own experience has been that columbine sprout readily only
after having been kept for about 60 days where it's cool and moist
-- 40°F or less, such as wrapped in moist toweling and plastic in
the refrigerator, in moist potting mix in the 'fridge or outdoors,
or on the ground over winter. Yet two growers say they are very
easy to grow without special handling so we're going to re-try.
The discrepancy in experiences may rest with the type of seed
used and how soon after ripening it was sown. Seed Germination
Theory and Practice (Norman Deno, State College, PA) states
that eastern columbine seed may lose its germination inhibition if
stored dry and warm for a year before sowing.
If you plant columbine without any cold treatment, will you
please email and tell us the result and your seed source? We will
revise our easy-from-seed list as necessary.
Read more about columbine
In dry shade: Choosing
shady plants and What's
Coming Up 110
Pairing with plants of more enduring appearance, Design a
Process and species to design a rain
garden, Use all the water
Corn borer a pest: Growing Concerns
Cut back hard after bloom:
What's Coming Up 97, pg. 9
Dividing columbine: What's Coming
Up 38, page 5
Leaf miner control: Clip columbine, undermine
Right: Pests such as this columbine sawfly are easy to see
when they're on the flower. However, most pests know better
than to spend time out in the open or where they can be quickly
spotted by hungry birds. Look for them on the leaves, where
their color blends perfectly.
Cold treatment for columbine seed:
Growing Concerns 756
We're just introducing this set of perennial info pages. This
page is in process but we hope you'll take a look and
comment. Let us know if the format is useful, or share your
suggestions, or tell us we shouldn't have this page at all...
This page Sponsored by:
For more Sponsor-recommended
Sponsor Us and tell us the topic you
are interested in.
We have posted a great deal of our library
already but have much still to post.
It helps to have Sponsors directing the sequence.