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Herbaceous Perennial

Aquilegia vulgaris 'William Guiness'
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

columbine 'William Guiness'

An upright perennial to 75cm, with divided foliage and flowers to 5cm across, with deep maroon-purple sepals and contrasting white petals with deep purple spurs which curl at the tips

Synonyms
Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie'
Aquilegia 'Magpie'
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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 Purple White Green
Summer Purple White Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

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

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Ranunculaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
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

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe or in spring. It can also be propagated by division in spring but the plant will be slow to recover

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Cut back foliage affected by fungal diseases

Pests

Can get aphids, leaf-mining flies and sawflies

Diseases

May be infected by powdery mildews and aquilegia downy mildew

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