Some of the prettiest columbines (Aquilegia species) are those with variegated foliage. Until now variegation has been limited to a pretty gold, or sometimes cream, speckling on the green, but a new hybrid is now available.
‘Silver Edge’ is a neat and compact Aquilegia flabellata with the usual rich green, slightly blue-tinted lobed leaves but in this case they dissolve into creamy white speckles towards the edges and then to a creamy margin.
These leaves are attractive to a wide variety of moths, even when the plants are not in flower, giving them extra use in the garden. The low mound of this attractive colouring brings the plant through the spring and then, in June, the bright flowers in rich blue and white add to the display.
Reaching only about 30cm (12in) in height, ‘Silver Edge’ makes a fine plant for a container in a sunny spot or at the front of a well-drained border. It is not long-lived, but snipping off the faded flowers will improve the plant's longevity.
Seeds in stock
Ray Brown has been building up stocks of ‘Silver Edge’ seed since spotting the original, at his Plant World Seeds nursery in Devon. Ray has a history of discovering and introducing new columbines. This year ‘Pale Face’, a short pure white columbine without even a hint of pink, and ‘Green Apples’, the first clematis-flowered variety with green flowers, will also be introduced.
You can order Aquilegia cultivars ‘Silver Edge’, ‘Pale Face’ and ‘Green Apples’ from Plant World Seeds.