(Lat. Aquilegia, Common names: Granny's bonnet, Pakujac)
Columbine (Aquilegia) is an perennial plant that grows all over Northern Hemisphere. It's one of the plants that even our grandmothers had and loved.
There are almost 120 different types of columbines and even more colors.
I love them cause they are really tall. Every spring they first start growing bushy leaves from which comes out a tall stem with flowers.
They multiply themselves. Every year they spread through roots and seeds. So if you get one plant in a few years if you let them there will be at least 50 new plants in different colors.
Like I said before they grow in different colors. We got a purple columbine many years ago and now we have pink, red, brown and purple flowers.
There is a way to control their color. Once the columbine has stopped blooming cut the stems away. Columbine changes color through seed pods. If they multiply only from roots they will grow in the same color as the original one.
Columbines are flowers that likes sunny or partly sunny places and can grow in Hardiness zones 3-9. They bloom from spring to summer.
Planting seeds should be done in early spring. It takes them a long time to germinate (sometimes a whole month). After they make big enough leaves replant them in the garden(in the middle of the summer).
They will make a bush that will disappear over the winter and return in the spring with flowers.
The other way of planting them is directly in the garden. Mix the seeds with some soil or sand and plant them where you want. This planting should be done in early summer.
Columbine flowers don't last long. They bloom for about 3 week (a month max) and after that they start making seed pods.
Seed pods need a long time to ripe. They will start as green and when they ripe they will be brown and burst.
If you want to collect seeds(and you have many columbines like I do)you don't need to wait till they burst. You can collect them as soon as the seeds turn black.
Columbines produce a lot of seeds and even if few of them don't germinate doesn't matter cause you will still have lots of them.
I got all this seeds from just one stem. You can see that some of my seeds are still dark green.
I picked up only a few stems for planting seeds around the yard.
When you pick up still fresh seed pods they are a bit sticky so the easiest way to separate seeds is to use a strainer where you cut a pod in half and strain seeds out.
In the end from my stems I got this enormous amount of seeds.
And there are still a lot of stems that will ripe.
If you want a plant that will grow on it's own and make in your garden a beautiful cottage garden touch plant Columbines. You can't go wrong with them.
- Vegetable Encyclopedia