Friday, May 7, 2010

I Don't Remember, I Don't Recall

Last year a number of columbines were added to our garden - a few red and yellow Aquilegia canadensis included in a native plants order from Possibility Place, Colorado blue Aquilegia caerulea, Aquilegia chrysantha hinckleyana 'Texas Gold' started from seeds received at Spring Fling - thank you Renee and Pam - and three (unknown varieties) self-sown seedlings culled from a client's garden. I have no memory of planting this pretty columbine.

Only the seedlings from the client's garden bloomed last spring. The rest were planted later, some not until fall. This pink and white one was by far the largest and most vigorous of all, and was inexplicably the only one unaffected by leaf miners.

All summer I thought this plant was one of the native red and yellow Aguilegia canadensis - in fact I was sure of it, and wondered how it managed to grow so large when the rest of the columbines were similarly-sized and much smaller.

Columbines are known to self-sow easily, and to be fairly promiscuous in their cross-pollinating habits. I supposed it's possible this one actually is one of the ones that had been labeled canadensis as I remember, and came from a canadensis parent that was pollinated by another columbine. Wherever it came from, it's really lovely, and as you can see, it's blooming like crazy - a very nice surprise in a garden that never fails to surprise and delight me.


  1. That is just gorgeous!! I love the colour!

  2. beautiful flowers...I love columbines. I just put in a few wintersown seedlings. I think they will be red, but I will hope for a happy surprise like yours!

  3. Those are lovely. Most of mine are blue but without the white accents. None of them face upward like yours.

  4. They say the memory's the first to go, Linda :-) Love the Columbines, very unique.

  5. Are leaf miners what makes those squiggly lines all over the columbine leaves? If so, I got'em too! These are so pretty- Mine seem to be taking their time - I have 3 and only one with flowers so far.

  6. That looks pretty!

  7. I used to have Columbines at my previous homes. I will have to find a spot for them somewhere. They are so lovely!


  8. That's a really beautiful one...I love columbines!

  9. Anonymous8:27 PM

    I've got a mystery columbine growing too. I started with a 'black' one a couple of years ago and now I have a purple & white one. Today I discovered a pink one that I know I didn't plant. The pink isn't so bad, kind of a muddy or dirty pink. My columbines get more action than I do. ;0)

  10. Anonymous9:41 PM

    What a beauty! A nice surprise, indeed. :)

  11. Me too Jenana!

    Fingers crossed for a happy columbine surprise for you Abbie!

    This one's the only one we have that's facing up Marnie - I don't think I've seen any like this before.

    Ha Ha Carolyn! I've had a lousy memory since. . . well, I can't remember!

    JGH, yep, that's what leaf miners do. Columbines seem particularly susceptible to leaf miners. I don't see those squiggly lines on any other plants in our garden.

    It's a very pretty surprise, Lily!

    I hope you can find a spot for columbines Eileen. I've had them in every garden for as long as I can remember. In fact, it's hard to imagine a garden without at least a few columbines.

    They're just about my favorite flowers Rose.

    LOL MBT! (it's hard to compete with columbines in that department!)

    This garden seems full of surprises Nancy!

  12. LOL, Linda, we have opposite problems. The columbine a friend gave me two years ago ("Now, be careful, these will self seed") is no more! I love columbines bt can't seem to grow them. The two have hanging on have like one or two flowers each. Seriously! You are so funny--"IF" I want digitalis seeds. Um, hello, yes, please!! :) I have a blood root earmarked for you, that I got volunteering yesterday at Kempf House. It's small but looks hardy and I'm encouraging it.

  13. Monica, columbines do seem to be short-lived. I haven't seen them self-seed (yet) here, but I've heard the natives can be quite prolific. I'd be happy to save seeds for you. (The seedlings might not turn out like the parents since there are several varieties here.)

    The foxglove hasn't bloomed yet, but I'll definitely save seeds for you after it does. I tried dividing a couple of them, but that didn't work. The mama plant and the divisions all died. I'm glad the seedlings I started last season are all growing, and I'll just start them from seeds in the future. I started with three, then there was only one, and now there are six. I hope the seedlings bloom. The one original that's left should be blooming in the next few weeks.

    I'd love a bloodroot. I've got five or six celandine poppy seedlings potted up for you, and will send them in the next week or two. They're such pretty plants - foliage and blooms. And speaking of prolific self-seeders . . . !


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