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I planted out our aquilegia.

Aquilegia japonica is native to Japan and has been used for breeding.

Aquilegia, from the Latin, aquilinum means “eagle like”, because the spurs suggested the talons of an eagle to Linnaeus; Columbine, from the Latin columba, “dove”, the spurred petals perhaps having suggested a ring of doves around a fountain.

Aquilegia viridiflora

Aquilegia viridiflora












Aquilegia or Columbines are native to temperate regions of Asia (China and Japan) as well as North America. They are frost hardy, and like a sunny site protected from strong winds.

From the Latin word for “water collector,” referring to the nectar in the spurs of its petals.

Other names: canadensis, from the Latin, “of Canada”;

Other common names include: American Columbine, Canada Columbine, Eastern Columbine, Meetinghouses, Rock Bells, Honeysuckle, Rock Lily, Cluckies, Jack-in-Trousers, Wild Honeysuckle, Granny’s Bonnets, Dancing Fairies, Ancolie du Canada (Qué)



Columbines are an old-fashioned garden plant, cultivated in Europe and America since the mid-1600s. Native Americans used infusions from different parts of the plant for a variety of ailments from heart trouble to fever and even as a wash for poison-ivy.

When pulverized, the seeds, a commodity of intertribal commerce, were rubbed on the hands by men as a love charm and also used in some tribes as a man’s perfume. Nodding flowers are red, streaked with yellow. Spring bloom. Attractive divided foliage. Good hummingbird plant. Long lived and reliable. An excellent garden plant. The medium textured, light green foliage makes it a valuable landscape plant long after the blooms fade.


On the evolution of the Aquilegia plant, see here.

Aquilegia photos and links

— Tuesday January 30, 2007


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