Saturday 11 October 2014

Flower of the day: Aquilegia vulgaris

Aquilegia vulgaris

Aquilegia vulgaris L. (European columbine, Common columbine, Granny's nightcap, Granny's bonnet) is a species of columbine native to Europe. It is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with branched, thinly hairy stems. The leaves are pinnate, with the basal leaflets themselves trifoliate. The flowers, in various shades of purple, blue, pink and white, are pendent or horizontal with hooked spurs, and appear in early Summer

This species and various hybrids derived from it are popular garden flowers, available in a variety of single colours and bi-colours, in single and double forms. Though perennial, cultivars may be short-lived and thus best treated as biennials. Spent flower-heads should be removed to prevent the plant going to seed. Cultivars include the Barlow series (Nora Barlow, Black Barlow, Rose Barlow, Christa Barlow), Pretty Bonnets. Seeds may be sold as mixtures. 'Nora Barlow' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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