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Aquilegia alpina (Alpine columbine)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
0.6m
Max height
0.3m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Aquilegia alpina

Other names

Alpine columbine, Aquilegia montana, Mountain columbine, Alpine monk's head lily

Genus

Aquilegia Aquilegia

Species

A. alpina - A. alpina is a clump-forming perennial with finely divided blue-green leaves and bright blue nodding flowers in late spring and early summer.


Aquilegia alpina is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming, Upright

Toxicity

Eating can cause stomach irritation. Contact with sap may cause skin irritation.

Flower

Blue in Spring; Blue in Summer

Foliage

Blue-green in Spring; Blue-green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies

Powdery mildew Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Cut back stems after flowering. Cut down leaves in autumn or earlier if affected by fungal diseases.

Propagation

Sowing from seed is the preferred propagation method. May take up to 2 years to germinate. Divide and replant roots in spring. Resents disturbance so may take some time to recover.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


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Where to grow

Aquilegia alpina (Alpine columbine) will reach a height of 0.6m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Rock, Woodland

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained, soil. Likes full sun or partial shade. This species is short-lived but will self-seed freely. Do not overwater.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Columbines look good bunched together, or interplanted with roses. As their flowers fade, the roses begin to bloom. Cut back the columbines to make space for the flowering roses.

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Aquilegia alpina

Other names

Alpine columbine, Aquilegia montana, Mountain columbine, Alpine monk's head lily

Genus

Aquilegia Aquilegia

Species

A. alpina - A. alpina is a clump-forming perennial with finely divided blue-green leaves and bright blue nodding flowers in late spring and early summer.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming, Upright

Toxicity

Eating can cause stomach irritation. Contact with sap may cause skin irritation.


Colour

Flower

Blue in Spring; Blue in Summer

Foliage

Blue-green in Spring; Blue-green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies

Specific diseases

Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Cut back stems after flowering. Cut down leaves in autumn or earlier if affected by fungal diseases.

Propagation

Sowing from seed is the preferred propagation method. May take up to 2 years to germinate. Divide and replant roots in spring. Resents disturbance so may take some time to recover.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Aquilegia alpina (Alpine columbine) will reach a height of 0.6m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Rock, Woodland

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained, soil. Likes full sun or partial shade. This species is short-lived but will self-seed freely. Do not overwater.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Aquilegia alpina (Alpine columbine)

Common pest name

; Aquilegia downy mildew

Scientific pest name

Aquilegia downy mildew

Type

Oomycete

Current status in UK

Present (Widespread)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Established pest of a widely grown ornamental in the UK. Potential for economic and social impacts unless resistant varieties are developed. Statutory action unlikely to prevent further spread.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

COMPANION PLANTS

Columbines look good bunched together, or interplanted with roses. As their flowers fade, the roses begin to bloom. Cut back the columbines to make space for the flowering roses.

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

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ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

The M&G Garden by Andy Sturgeon - Best in Show 2019

M&G Investments, the title sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, commissioned designer Andy Sturgeon (Best in Show winner 2010 and 2016) to create this incredible garden. read more

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“There is nothing better than seeing a totally overgrown, wild and unruly garden that has the potential of being beautiful” - my thoughts when I first saw our garden ten years ago ...… read more

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The Telegraph Garden for the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been designed by the renowned landscape and garden designer Marcus Barnett. read more

The M&G Retreat Garden

M&G has commissioned award-winning landscape designer Jo Thompson to create a sylvan themed garden retreat. read more

View all 11 articles


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