Aquilegia

Common name: Columbine / Granny's Bonnet.

A hardy herbaceous perennial, bearing long spurred flowers in a wide range of colours in May and June.

Plants can grow up to 900mm (36") tall, with delicate foliage spreading to 300-500mm (12"-18") in diameter, and topped with flowers up to 75mm (3") long.

It is a prolific self seeder and hybridizes quite easily hence the variation in flower colour, shape and size.

It is a useful plant for growing in containers and for cut flowers.

The seeds and roots are highly poisonous, and contain cardiogenic toxins which can cause severe gastroenteritis and or heart palpitations if ingested.



Cultivation notes:

Week 25 -27: Cut flower stems down to ground level after flowering.

If required for propagation, collect seed prior to disposing of tops.

Sow ripe seeds in boxes / trays and lightly cover then place in a cold frame.

Alternatively; wait until Week 11 the following year, and germinate at 16°-20°C (61°-68°F)

Germination should take around 2-3 weeks.

Seeds gathered from any particular variety may not come true to type.

Prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle (Week 28/16) into boxes or trays of potting compost, and grow on in a cold frame until planting out time.

Week 35: Plant out aquilegias 300mm. (12") apart in a sunny or partially shaded position in a moist, well-drained fertile soil.

Week 40: Increase stock by dividing established plants now, or wait until around week 15-18 the following year.





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