Aquilegia spp.

Latin Name: Aquilegia spp.
Common Name: Columbine
Mature Height (ft): 18-36"
Mature Width: 12-24"

Mature Shape

Upright, wispy with lacy leaves.
Mulch: Organic or inorganic.

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McKana's Giant is the hybrid columbine most often sold. Large beautiful bi-colored flowers dazzle in woodland and shady area. Aquelegia caerulea and A. canadensis are other common columbines.

Many Aquilegia’s are native to the U.S. Aquilegia chrysantha is a Texas native, has yellow flowers and can take more sun than some varieties. Generally avoid placing them in afternoon sun. Some references note that acidic soil is needed, however they grow beautifully in the Texas Panhandle in soil amended with compost.

Beautiful blue green lacy foliage with fine stems that dies back in the summer. Dainty flowers with spurs; an earlier common name was granny’s bonnet. Will reseed some. Seedlins are commonly yellow. Terrific flower for the woodland border area. Many varieties and colors are available.

Use in Garden

Columbines work well in mixed borders and beds,  Western cottage gardens, and shade gardens. As the plant dies back after flowering in late June, it's ideal for planted next to summer flowering beauties.


Cut back the dead and dying stems in June. Mature plants will rebloom some over the summer with additional moisture. Compost the bed each fall or spring.