Aquilegia vulgaris

Aquilegia vulgaris


Columbine or Granny’s bonnet

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: moist, well-drained soil
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Height : 0,6-0,8m
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

Aquilegia bears graceful flowers on erect stems in late spring and early summer, perfectly suited for partial shade or a sunny spot. It blooms in a variety of colours and shapes. Flowers vary from blue, violet, ruby-red, white, pink to yellow.

Aquilegias are perennial plants and self-seed easily. Seedlings will not always reappear in the same colours as their parents.


Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Nora Barlow’

Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Nora Barlow’ bears striking, pink pompon flowers with no spures. The tips of the petals have a delicate white colour. It grows to 60cm tall.

Aquilegia vulgaris

Also popular is Aquilegia vulgaris, commonly known as common columbine or granny’s bonnet. It has fantastic blue flowers with green, ferny foliage. A perfect plant for a herbaceous border.

Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Yellow Queen’

Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Yellow Queen’ is distinguished by lemon-yellow, long-spurred flowers. It’s native to New Mexico and Arizona and has no issue with a sunny position.

Aquilegia vulgaris, Aquilegia chrysantha Yellow Queen
Aguilegia vulgaris                                    Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Yellow Queen’


Pruning Aquilegia ( Columbine or Granny’s bonnet ). Cut back the faded flower stems after they have flowered. If the foliage looks tatty, you can also cut back the foliage near ground level, when flowering is finished.

New fresh leaves will quickly emerge from the base, but the plant will not produce a second flush of flowers.


If you want to increase the number of plants, don’t cut off the faded flowers, after flowering. Seed heads will develop. When these mature, seeds will scatter on the surrounding soil.

Or collect the ripe, black, flower seeds before they disperse.

Plant spacing

Plant Aquilegias 30 cm apart

Pests and diseases

Columbine leaf miner is causing white, squiggly lines on the leaves of columbine. See columbine leaf miner treatment.

Plant combination

Combine Aquilegia with Alchemilla, Euphorbia, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve‘, Dicentra spectablis, Geraniums.

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'
Erysium ‘Bowles Mauve’