19 March 2010

Columbine: A native bloomer for Atlanta woodland gardens

White and pink columbine flower.
White and pink columbine flower.


Here is another native bloomer for woodland Atlanta gardens. Established Atlanta gardens with stands of trees, can frequently use part-shade bloomers for interest. Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a good choice, and easy to maintain.

Columbine will produce nice bi-colored flowers in a variety of combinations: including yellow, white, blue, pink & purple. Established from seed or nursery pots, they can be grown in old tree stumps, rock crevasses, and of course, in flowerbeds.

Uses. Columbine make nice cut flowers, a good addition to a perennial beds, a filler for odd sections of establish tree stands.

Establishment. Plant from nursery pots or seed in early Spring, or purchase potted from nursery. Locate in dappled shade. Avoid all-day full sun. A woodland plant, it will prefer rich soil. Prepare soil well with compost. Seed sown in Spring may not flower the first season.

Maintenance. Primary maintenance concern is leaf-miners. If you see yellowed or mottled foliage, cut back and discard, and allow new foliage to sprout. Keep soil moist during dry spells.

A few varieties:

A. canadensis 'Corbet', yellow, 12-24 inches
A. flabellata 'Nana' under 12 inches.
A. hybrida - multiple hybrid varieties come in many color variations


Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, Proudland Landscape, LLC.
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