Most cultivars grown are hybrids of North American species.
Common relatives include monkshood, larkspur, anemone and Nigella.
Flowers are up to 3 inches long with inflated petals and elongated spurs, at stem ends.
Stems leafy, delicate and branched, up to 20 inches long.
Plant is a herbaceous perennial, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
Flowers are not fragrant.
36-41 F for a short time in water.
From the Latin “aquila” (eagle), referring to the resemblance of the petals to the claws of a bird of prey. Alternatively, from “aquilegus” (a water collector), referring to the petals’ resemblance to common pointed water jugs that were buried in the ground to keep the contents cool.
Columbine is from the Latin “columba” (dove), referring to the resemblance of the upside down flower to a ring of drinking doves.
Grows naturally in a wide range of climates including on rocky cliffs under very dry conditions.
Recent Research Findings:
White (1988) tested 17 cultivars and species of which 5 were not suited as cut flowers (‘Olympia Violet-Gold’, ‘Libelle’, ‘Sky Blue’ A. skinneri and A. heienae) while 7 were very good to excellent (‘McKana’s Giant’, ‘Crimson Star’, ‘Silver Queen’, ‘Olympia Red-Gold’, Olympia ‘Blue-White’, ‘Long-spurred Red’ and ‘Dynasty’).