Aquilegia (Columbine)

AQUILEGIA (Columbine) Ranunculaceae A. species

HABITAT: Perennials native to Asia, Europe, and North America. Hardy zones 3-10 except in southern Florida and along the Gulf Coast..

USES: Rock gardens, perennial borders, and short-lasting cuts.

HABITClumps of deeply lobed deep or blue green foliage plants bearing flowers and long arching stalks of 1 1/2" to 4" blossoms in red, pink, yellow, blue, white, and lavender. Colors are generally in pastel tones. Plant heights vary from 18" to 3' dependent upon varieties.

SEED GERMINATION: ow in moistened Park's Grow Mix and do not cover seeds. Keep moist at all times; keep the of the sowing medium at 55°F day and night. Seed sown in summer will produce flowering size plants the following spring.

CULTURE: Columbines do best in moist, well-drained soil containing ample humus (leaf mold, compost) and in light shade but will tolerate full sun except in hot, dry areas. Set out in spring or late summer 10-24" apart with the crown (where roots and tops meet) at soil level. Mulch in zones 4-5 in late fall with hay, straw, etc. to protect from alternating freezing and thawing temperatures. Columbines usually lose vitality after three years and are best replaced regularly. Fertilize monthly with 5-10-5 fertilizer and keep well watered during growing season.

SPECIES: A. akitensis: 12" compact plants, blue-green foliage, white or blue spurless flowers.
A. caerulea (Rocky Mountain Columbine): 1 1/2 to 3' with 2-3" blue and white flowers in May-June.
A. canadensis (American Columbine): 3-4' tall with 2-3" yellow blossoms in spring to mid summer. Native Nova Scotia to Georgia.
A. chrysantha (Golden Columbine): 2 1/2 to 3' with yellowish long-spurred flowers May-July. Modern long-spurred hybrids are from crosses A. chrysantha and A. caerulea.
A. hybrida (Hybrid Columbine): Various colors and sizes ranging from 15" to 3'.
A. `Nora Barlow': The double Columbine flowers combination of red, pink, and green, 3 1/2' plants.

INSECTS: Leaf Miners, Stem Borers, Aphids: Use an approved insecticide, such as Malathion, or a systemic insecticide for control. Destroy infected leaves. Caterpillar: Use an improved insecticide such as Sevin for control.

DISEASES: Columbine Wilt: Drench soil with Captan for control.

PROPAGATION: Division and seeds.

REMARKS: The beauty and delicacy of the flowers and plants outweigh their transitory nature.