at Digging Dog
This genus deserves its lofty names, which mean
“eagle” and “dove,”
because its intricate flowers have been said to
resemble birds in flight. Beyond the symbolism of the
flowers, the finely textured, widely varied species possess
a gracefulness that is likely to carry you to heights
of enjoyment. Whether delicate dwarfs or bold,
long-spurred varieties, Columbines are characterized
by fernlike three-lobed leaves. They are best suited
for naturalizing in a semishaded woodland, but the smaller species will thrive in a rock garden with
Traversing the subalpine meadows of Europe’s Alps and Apennines mountains, this tall arresting species flaunts nodding dark purple blooms with short spurs and prominent yellow stamens that stretch well beyond the rich-as-velvet nearly black petals. Strong lanky stems anchor the mesmerizing blooms, while the handsome glaucous greenery provides contrasting foliar hues for Hakonechloa m. ‘Aureola’ and Lysimachia ‘Aurea’.
Blooms April–early June
Size: 18"–20" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 3.
Aquilegia atrata (P-0234)
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