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Herbaceous Perennial

Aquilegia longissima

longest-spurred columbine

A short-lived, upright perennial to 80cm with mid-green, fern-like foliage and outward-facing, scented, two-tone-yellow flowers, with spurs up to 15cm long, appearing in summer

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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
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
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
W Texas, N Mexico

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. See aquilegia cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed; home-saved seed may not come true. Established plants can also be propagated by division in spring, but they dislike root disturbance and will be slow to recover

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

To encourage more flowers (and prevent self-seeding) deadhead regularly. Cut back foliage after flowering to promote fresh growth in late summer

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, caterpillars, leaf miners, aquilegia gall midge and aquilegia sawfly

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews and aquilegia downy mildew

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