Saturday, May 30, 2009

Aquilegia spp. in bloom!

[Photo: Aquilegia canadensis flowers.]For the last week or so, columbines have been blooming all over the neighbourhood. My favourite, of course, is our native wild red columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. This is in a neighbour's garden; unfortunately I somehow managed to kill mine.

This huge beautiful plant was inherited from the previous owners. It didn't bloom last year, and I don't remember it doing much before that, so I was surprised to see how huge it is this year, and smothered with flowers! I think it is A. vulgaris 'Tower Dark Blue'. (A. vulgaris is native to Europe.)

[Photo: Aquilegia vulgaris Tower Dark Blue.]Here's a closer look at one of the purple flowers.

[Photo: pale pink Aquilegia.]I discovered this very pretty pale pink variety when I was exploring the neighbourhood.

The columbines are considered short-lived perennials, but they will at least in theory self seed. Columbines are considered fairly easy to grow so I'm not sure how I managed to kill mine. I guess I'd better not invest in any of the really delicate plants, like the Cypripediums (lady slippers) until I figure out what I'm doing wrong.

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