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Alpine Columbine

Category:

Dainty, nodding flowers on dark, graceful stems, long lasting flowers can be a combination of blue and white; lacy foliage and compact clumping habit; a welcome addition to woodland plantings

Characteristics

Species:
alpina
Average Landscape Height:
12 inches (18 inches with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
12 inches
Genus:
Aquilegia
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
spreading
Canopy:
closed
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
cut back in fall
Flower Color:
sky blue
Flower Bicolor:
white
Flower Period:
from mid spring to early summer
Summer Foliage Color:
sea green
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
average
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Alpine Columbine features dainty nodding sky blue flowers with white overtones at the ends of the stems from mid spring to early summer. Its attractive deeply cut ferny compound leaves remain bluish-green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Alpine Columbine is an herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Alpine Columbine will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 18 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 8 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Alpine Columbine is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

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