Aquilegia atrata (Aquilegia vulgaris subsp. atrata)| Dark Columbine
Dark Columbine may be considered a subspecies of Aquilegia vulgaris, as it is not genetically distinguishable from the other members of the complex. Dark Columbine plants are hardy, herbaceous, short-lived perennials that are easy to grow from seed and will tolerate a wide range of soil and sun types. Plants will do well in full sun, but will fair better with some shade.
Upright stems bear nodding, short-spurred flowers, and as the common name suggests the flowers are dark in color and range from dark purple to maroon-brown. Blooms during the second year of growth and thereafter from late spring to early summer.
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. Ideal for cottage gardens, meadows, and woodlands.
Sun exposure: Part shade to full sun
Mature height: 2-3 ft
Mature width: 18 inches
Hardiness zones: 3-9