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Herbaceous Perennial

Aquilegia alpina
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

alpine columbine

An herbaceous perennial, up to 80cm high, with blue-green leaves and nodding, bright blue or blue and white flowers in spring

Other common names
breath of God
Synonyms
Aquilegia montana
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue White Green
Summer Blue White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Ranunculaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Aquilegia are clump-forming herbaceous perennials with long-stalked, ternately divided basal leaves and erect, leafy stems bearing bell-shaped flowers with spreading, coloured sepals and petals with spurs, on branched stems

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Alps, N Italy

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in free-draining but moisture-retentive soil in sun or partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed as soon as seed is ripe in late summer, or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required, but can be cut back after flowering

Pests

May be affected by aphids and leaf-miners

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews and aquilegia downy mildew

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