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Aquilegia formosa (Western columbine)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
0.9m
Max height
0.45m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Aquilegia formosa

Other names

Western columbine, Western columbine, Crimson columbine, Scarlet columbine, Red columbine

Genus

Aquilegia Aquilegia

Species

A. formosa - A. formosa is a clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with 2-ternate, deeply divided, blue-green leaves and, in late spring and early summer, slender, upright stems bearing leafy racemes of pendent, red to orange-red flowers with yellow-tipped petals, prominent yellow stamens, and upright, orange-red spurs.


Aquilegia formosa is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming, Upright

Toxicity

Eating can cause stomach irritation.

Flower

Orange-red, Red in Spring; Red, Orange-red in Summer

Foliage

Blue-green in Spring; Blue-green in Summer; Blue-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

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

Powdery mildew Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Deadhead after flowering. Cut down leaves in autumn, or earlier if affected by fungal diseases.

Propagation

Sowing from seed is the preferred propagation method. Aquilegia hybridises freely in the garden so plants grown from garden-collected seed may not come true to type. 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 formosa (Western columbine) will reach a height of 0.9m and a spread of 0.45m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Low Maintenance, Rock, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Grow in loose, loamy, neutral to acid, well-drained soil that holds moisture in dry weather. Avoid wet conditions. Best in partial shade but will tolerate sunny conditions with adequate moisture.

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

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

Botanical name

Aquilegia formosa

Other names

Western columbine, Western columbine, Crimson columbine, Scarlet columbine, Red columbine

Genus

Aquilegia Aquilegia

Species

A. formosa - A. formosa is a clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with 2-ternate, deeply divided, blue-green leaves and, in late spring and early summer, slender, upright stems bearing leafy racemes of pendent, red to orange-red flowers with yellow-tipped petals, prominent yellow stamens, and upright, orange-red spurs.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming, Upright

Toxicity

Eating can cause stomach irritation.


Colour

Flower

Orange-red, Red in Spring; Red, Orange-red in Summer

Foliage

Blue-green in Spring; Blue-green in Summer; Blue-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies , Caterpillars

Specific diseases

Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Deadhead after flowering. Cut down leaves in autumn, or earlier if affected by fungal diseases.

Propagation

Sowing from seed is the preferred propagation method. Aquilegia hybridises freely in the garden so plants grown from garden-collected seed may not come true to type. 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 formosa (Western columbine) will reach a height of 0.9m and a spread of 0.45m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Low Maintenance, Rock, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Grow in loose, loamy, neutral to acid, well-drained soil that holds moisture in dry weather. Avoid wet conditions. Best in partial shade but will tolerate sunny conditions with adequate moisture.

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 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Aquilegia formosa (Western 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...

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