Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata | ‘Nora Barlow’
Aquilegia vulgaris known most commonly as Columbine is also known as Granny’s Bonnet, European Crowfoot, European Columbine, and Grannys Nightcap. It’s an all time favorite garden and wildflower that can be found growing in woodlands and meadows. Columbine species are hardy, herbaceous, short-lived perennials that are easy to grow from seed and will tolerate a large range of soil and sun types. Will do well in full sun, but will flower better with some shade. (Some columbines go dormant in the summer and will grow foliage again in the fall.) The leaves which are the main attraction the first year are fern-like and resemble that of Meadow Rue and Clover. The plants will typically bloom during the second year of growth from late spring to early summer. Columbine flower petals are spurred, which is a major characteristic that sets them apart from most other flowers. They will grow in a wide range of soils and even gravel and are drought tolerant and tough as nails.
‘Nora Barlow’, also known as ‘Clematis-Flowered Columbine’ was named around 1890 and was the first of the ‘Barlow series’. It was named after Nora Barlow, granddaughter of Charles Darwin, who herself was a hybridizer of various flowers, including columbines. This is a classic variety with fully double, upward-facing, spurless, pink blooms with white tips. Flowers are held high above foliage and are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and bumblebees.
Seeds may require cold-stratification before sowing indoors, or one can direct-sow them outdoors in autumn or late winter/spring. They will gladly self sow in soil, gravel, under decks, etc.
Sun exposure: Part shade to full sun
Mature height: 2-3 ft
Mature width: 18 inches
Hardiness zones: 3- 9