The flower Columbine or ‘Aquilegia‘ is probably one of the easiest spring perennial flowers to grow if you plant it in the right spot. Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade, Zone 3 to 8. Mine are just starting to fully bloom.
Here is my only gripe with this little darling, they re-seed everywhere, but to their defense, they re-plant easily.
That being said I wanted to honor this little beauty today on the 13th Anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which the state of Colorado renamed the Aquilegia hybrid ‘Colorado’ to ‘Remembrance’ in memory of the victims of the Columbine High School Tragedy. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the hybrid goes to the Jefferson Foundation which provides scholarships for Jefferson County students.
The word Aquila, meaning “Eagle”, which is referring to the claw-like spurs at the rear of the flower. Columbines are a favorite of Hummingbirds and Bees due to the high nectar content of the flower. Another bonus to growing this perennial.
If you decide to plant Columbine, you will need to decide if you want to buy starter plants or seeds. I started mine (fully double, spruces pink variety) from seed many years ago and every spring I have to pop out the new starter plants and move them to the spots I want. I would highly recommend planting seeds unless you are in a real hurry to see them in your garden.
“Where the Columbines Grow” is a beautiful song written and composed by A. J. Flynn in tribute to the Rocky Mountain columbine. On May 8, 1915, it was adopted as the official Colorado state song, and still lives on in the hearts of the citizens of Colorado today. The last verse and the chorus of this song read as follows:
Let the violet brighten the brookside,
In sunlight of earlier spring,
Let the fair clover bedeck the green meadow,
In days when the orioles sing,
Let the goldenrod herald the autumn,
But, under the midsummer sky,
In its fair Western home, may the columbine bloom
Till our great mountain rivers run dry.
Tis the land where the columbines grow,
Overlooking the plains far below,
While the cool summer breeze in the evergreen trees
Softly sings where the columbines grow.