Columbine Flowers: How To Grow Columbines

by johnah on November 17, 2020

The Columbine Flower (Corydalis corymbosa) is one of the most popular flowers in Colorado. The name “columbine” comes from the fact that it was discovered near Denver, Colorado. It grows in both dry and moist soil conditions. Its blooms are white with pink centers and have a delicate fragrance when crushed or sniffed. They can be used fresh or dried for flavoring foods, beverages, cosmetics, medicine and other products.

Colombine flowers are native to North America and were introduced into Europe during the early 1800’s. There are many varieties of these flowers including blue, purple, red, yellow and green. These colors vary depending on where they grow and what time of year they bloom. The color ranges from pale white to deep crimson. Some varieties may even appear black at times!

They are easy to grow and require little attention. They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. You’ll need lots of room so make sure your garden area is large enough to accommodate them all! They like moist soil but will survive in a slightly acidic environment if necessary. A sunny location is best since they do not like direct sunlight.

If you live in an area with cold winters, consider planting them outside in the springtime instead of waiting until summer.

The columbine flowers are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. They are also one of the last flowers to bloom in the fall and will re-seed themselves readily. If you’re looking to attract butterflies and bees into your yard then growing columbine flowers is a great way to do so!

The columbine plant grows between 1 and 3 feet tall with leaves that are large and heart-shaped. The stems are green with red stripes. The flowers are 5-petaled and can be either solitary or double. The petals are large and curving. They start out as a pale, pink color and then fade to white as they mature.

The center of the flower consists of 5 stamens, which give the appearance of a yellow “cup” around a protruding ovary. If left alone to mature, it will bear fruit that looks like a small red berry.

The bloom period for the columbine flowers is usually mid-spring to early summer. They can also bloom into the fall but this depends on the type of soil, sun and water conditions. If you do not deadhead your flower regularly, they will go to seed and the leaves will turn yellow and wilt before dying off completely.

The columbine varieties that are blue, purple or white may need some shade during the hottest part of the day. They also don’t like their roots to be too wet since they can quickly rot.

It is possible to propagate columbine flower plants by division. You’ll need to dig up an entire clump, let it dry out for a couple of days and then gently tear it apart into smaller clumps. Replant these clumps approximately 2 inches deeper than they were previously located. They can also be grown from seed but this can take several years for the plant to grow large enough to bloom.

These flowers are often confused with the American Martagon Lily (Martagon Lilies are toxic and should NEVER be eaten!) and the “Columbine”, a poisonous plant that is native to Europe. The European varieties of columbine flowers have 7 prominent yellow petals, while the North American variety have 5 prominent red/purple petals.

Both the foliage and flowers of the columbine plant are considered to be toxic to humans and animals if ingested. It can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. In large quantities, it can lead to irregular heartbeats, seizures and even death. If you have small children, it is recommended that you plant columbine flowers in a container that they cannot easily reach.

Columbine Flowers: How To Grow Columbines - Image

The unique shape of the flower has led to its widespread use in decorative art. Its common name is derived from the Latin word for “Dove” and was named by early American settlers after their homelands in Europe.

Other common names for the columbine flower include “Gray Rabbitbrush”, “Red Paintbrush” and “Rock Jasmine”.

The columbine is the official state flower of both Colorado and Washington.

If you are interested in attracting bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects to your yard, then the Columbine is a great plant to include. Not only is it an attractive addition to the garden or meadow but it also produces plenty of nectar for the pollen-loving insects.

Columbines grow wild in most parts of the world except for Australia, New Zealand, and most of South America. It grows well in moist areas like river banks, lake edges and shady woodlands.

When given adequate water, sunshine and nutrients, Columbine plants can grow up to 3 feet tall. They produce a beautiful red, purple, yellow and white blossom that is notorious for being a favorite of honey bees and hummingbirds. Some varieties are also said to be mildly toxic to mammals and birds but not harmful to humans.

The columbine flowers bloom in the spring and once they are done flowering, they produce seeds and then gradually die off over the summer months.

There are between 25 and 40 species of columbine flowers worldwide and they are typically found growing in moist areas like river banks, lake edges and shady woodlands. They can grow from a multitude of soil types but most prefer rich, well-drained soil.

The columbine flower is known by several different names including “Granny’s Bonnet”, “Shooting Star”, “Pigeon wings” and “Little Elfin Saddle” and the Latin name is “Aquilegia”

It is believed that Native Americans and early settlers used the columbine to treat various medical conditions. The leaves were often used as a tea to increase urination, treat skin disorders, promote bowel movements, act as a astringent and sedative and to ease pain during childbirth. The Native Americans also used the columbine as a bath for treating skin diseases

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When the plant is dried, its toxicity increases which is why it should be stored away from children and pets. If you are interested in growing columbine flowers in your garden, it is best to keep them away from wandering animals and children.

The columbine flower gets its name from the fact that its petals radiate out from a central core that resembles the rear of a dove. The word “columbine” comes from the Latin word for “dove”, which is “columba”.

There are several different species of columbine flowers in North America including Aquilegia Formosa, A. Canadensis, A. Altmannii, A. Longipetala and A. Sinicous.

The columbine flower is a favorite among herbalists who use it to treat a wide range of ailments. Native Americans traditionally used the plant to treat nervousness, digestive problems, coughs and colds, skin disorders and menopause symptoms. Nurses in the 19th century would often put columbine flowers in baths for patients that suffered from hysteria.

This is one of my favorite wild flowers. It has a crisp, clean scent that smells like spring and summer all rolled into one. I love growing them in my garden and I think they make it look very pretty! You can also dry these flowers out to use in herbal remedies and sachets for closets and drawers.

The columbine flower can be used to make a variety of herbal remedies.

The Native Americans used the columbine flower to treat nervousness, digestive problems, coughs and colds, skin disorders and menopause symptoms.

Columbine is an ingredient in the homeopathic remedy, TRAUMEEL which is commonly used to treat sprains, bruising and muscle pain.

It can also be used to make sachets and herbal pillow packs to keep bugs away from your clothes.

Do not confuse this plant with the MORE DANGEROUS DEADLY NIGHTSHADE (Atropa Belladonna), which is also known as ‘Belladonna’, ‘Beautiful Woman’ or ‘The Diviner’s Herb’. It can be distinguished from the columbine flower by its dark green, egg-shaped leaves and the fact that it has blackish berries. The plant has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic and poison. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a medicine, and the very smallest amount can be fatal. The herb has been used as a poison by assassins as it puts the victim into a deep sleep before causing death.

It has also been used in witchcraft and in Baba Yaga’s potions. The common name, belladonna, translated from Italian means ‘beautiful woman’.

Columbine Flowers: How To Grow Columbines |

If you are interested in growing this flower yourself, you should pick a spot in full sun and dig a hole that is deep and wide enough to accommodate the root system. The soil in the hole should be half compost and half native soil. After planting, keep the soil around the roots moist and always keep an eye out for pests and diseases.

The columbine flower can be found growing wild in the United States, Canada, China, Great Britain and throughout Europe. It flowers between the months of April and August and grows to a height of between 2 and 16 inches.

The columbine flower gets its name because it looks like a cluster of flying doves.

The Native Americans used this plant as a dye to turn animal hides a shade of red.

This was one of the first plants that American colonists learned to grow. They used it for medicine and in cooking.

Colonial American women would use the flower as a cosmetic to make themselves look healthy and rosy-cheeked. The red juice of the flower was used as a dye for fabric and the leaves were brewed into a tea to cure coughs and colds.

The columbine flower is a popular ornamental plant in gardens, especially in shady locations where few other plants thrive. It is easy to grow and tolerates poor soil. It can also be grown in large containers.

When the columbine flower dies, its seed pods explode, scattering the seeds far and wide.

The poisons contained in the plant can cause dizziness, slow heart rate, dilated pupils, delirium, convulsions, respiratory failure and even death.

The name columbine refers to a group of plants that resemble doves. Most have five petals and many are poisonous.

In China, the columbine flower is called ‘the joyful girl’. In the 15th Century, British law stated that no underage girl could wear any item of clothing that contained the bright red color of this flower.

The columbine is a member of the buttercup family, which contains many toxic plants.

Columbine Flowers: How To Grow Columbines at

The word ‘asphyxiate’ means ‘to deprive of oxygen’. The gas released by this flower will do exactly that.

Sources & references used in this article:

Pollinator shifts drive increasingly long nectar spurs in columbine flowers by JB Whittall, SA Hodges – Nature, 2007 –

Columbines by SA Hodges, EM Kramer – Current Biology, 2007 –

Columbines: a geographically widespread species flock by SA Hodges, ML Arnold – Proceedings of the National …, 1994 – National Acad Sciences

The siren song of a sticky plant: columbines provision mutualist arthropods by attracting and killing passerby insects by EF LoPresti, IS Pearse, GK Charles – Ecology, 2015 – Wiley Online Library

Spurring plant diversification: are floral nectar spurs a key innovation? by SA Hodges, ML Arnold – … of the Royal Society of London …, 1995 –

A lever action hypothesis for pendulous hummingbird flowers: experimental evidence from a columbine by R Nold – 2003 – Timber Press (OR)




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