Aquilegia, more commonly known as Alpine Columbine, Rocky Mountain columbine, Canada columbine, Yellow columbine, Fan columbine, Columbine or Granny’s Bonnet are graceful, clump-forming, perennials, grown for their mainly bell-shaped, spurred (0.39-5 in. / 1-15cm), sometimes double flowers in spring and summer. Usually found in meadows, woodlands and higher altitudes. Propagate seeds in fall or spring. Some butterflies and moths use the plants as food. It's a major food source for Bombus hortorum, a species of bumblebee. All columbines self seed profusely and hybridize freely. When grown in isolation, A. vulgaris ‘Nivea’, ‘Nora Barlow’ and Vervaeneana Group cultivars produce a good proportion of true seedlings. Seeds of alpine species may take up to 2 years to germinate. Some varieties are short lived and better treated as biennials.
USES: Alpine and rock gardens, Woodland gardens, Bee, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, Wildflower gardens, Attracts hawk moths, Seeds are consumed by finches and buntings, Containers, Perennial gardens, Cut Flowers, Landscaping, Open shade gardens
Botanical Name: Aquilegia vulgaris ‘William Guinness’ aka ‘Magpie’
Common Name: European columbine, Granny's bonnet, Columbine
Type: Upright Perennial
Flower Color: Very dark purplish-black with white tip petals 1-1 ½ in. (3-4cm)
Flowering Time: May to June
Plant Height: 30 in. (75cm)
Plant Spacing: 10 - 15 in. (25-38 cm)
Light Requirements: Full sun to Partial shade. Will tolerate full sun in regions where summers are cool.
Water Requirements: Average / Moist. Do not overwater
Soil Requirements: Well drained, fertile soil
USDA Zone: 3-8
AHS Heat Zone: 8-1
Sowing Instructions (Cliff Notes Version): Helps to cold stratify for 3 weeks in the fridge (not mandatory). Sow seed in containers in spring at 68°F (20°C).
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