Monday, June 8, 2015

Lovely Blue Columbine - The Eagle and the Dove

From Wikipedia - The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle's claw. The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove", due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.  Columbine is a hardy perennial, which propagates by seed. It will grow to a height of 15 to 20 inches. It will grow in full sun; however, it prefers growing in partial shade and well drained soil, and is able to tolerate average soils and dry soil conditions. Columbine is rated at hardiness zone 3 in the USA so does not require mulching or protection in the winter.

I love columbines in any color, shape or form and have many, many photographs! I love the irony of the eagle and the dove naming in the description above.  Two of my sons live in the mountains near Vail, CO and I love hiking there in the spring.  The Colorado columbine, Aquilegia caerulea,  is spectacular, especially when blooming in mass across the mountains.  The small Canada or eastern red columbine, Aquilegia Canadensis, is native to West Virginia.  I have many other hybrids of different colors scattered throughout my yard.

Colorado columbine captured
on one of my hikes.


Small white one blooming in the same
area where the Blue Max are seeded.

My good friend, MAM Sprout, shared seeds last year. Some went to the Shirley Meniece Conference Seed Share and some stayed home for our group.  In the late winter, I sowed directly outside in a small shaded, semi moist area lining my front walk.  Her variety is one called 'Blue Max'.  She bought a plant many years ago from Andre Viette; it is no longer listed by them and I cannot find any information on Blue Max so I feel both of us are going a good job in saving this lovely plant. 

Here is Blue Max in MAM Sprouts yard.
 Smaller, deep blue late blooming variety

Small columbine seedlings in center
of photo under a Sargent crabapple.
Astilbe in foreground and bletilla
blooming between the astilbe and
the new columbine.
April - June 2015
The plants started appearing in April.  It is now June 8 and I have a large area under a small crabapple tree with lots and lots of growing plants.  I should probably thin but am just going to let them grow for a while longer before deciding what to do.  I am just so pleased to have them in my garden!

A few tiny sprouts appearing in April.

May 25 and look how
they have grown.

September 30, 2015
The plans have done well this summer.  They survived the August & September dry spells.  I watered only 2-3 times.  Late September rains have helped.  They are strong and healthy.  I look forward to bloom the second year - next spring!  If any of you received seeds at the 2015 Shirley Meniece Conference in Seattle please do post your comments on our blog!

Sept. 30, 2015.  Lots of healthy plants hopefully will bloom next spring.
April 28, 2017
I really haven't updated this post since fall of 2015.  One is blooming in my back yard from seeds I just threw into the yard two years ago.  It is pretty and very happy in a semi-shaded location on my back hillside.  Success and I know there will be more plants next year!

Blue Max blooming Spring 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Last post this year on Blue Max Columbine. Great success in keeping plants going this summer and looking forward to flowers next spring.