Bertoloni's Columbine Aquilegia bertolonii

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Bertoloni columbine


Aquilegia bertolonii, commonly known as Bertoloni's columbine, typically exhibits a graceful and delicate appearance, with distinctive features that set it apart from other garden plants. The most striking aspect of its appearance is the unique flowers, which are nodding and have an elongated, tube-like spur extending from the back of each blossom. The petals are commonly found in shades ranging from pale blue to violet, and they are surrounded by a set of sepals that can be either a contrasting or complementary color, often in hues that are similar but sometimes slightly darker than the petals. The center of the flower is adorned with numerous stamens and pistils that protrude outward, adding to the intricate look of the bloom. The foliage of Bertoloni's columbine forms a lush base for the flowers. Leaves are divided into leaflets that are further lobed or dissected, presenting a lacy texture. The overall shape of the leaves is somewhat rounded, contributing to the soft and feathery aesthetic of the plant. Despite the prohibition on mentioning specific size, it's notable that Bertoloni's columbine generally possesses a compact and mounded form, which contributes to its visual appeal in various garden settings. The arrangement of flowers atop slender stems gives the plant an airy feel, with blooms that seem to dance above the foliage with every passing breeze.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bertoloni's Columbine

    • Common names

      Aquilegia alpestris, Aquilegia baldensis, Aquilegia bovini, Aquilegia gaudinii, Aquilegia litardierei, Aquilegia nigricans, Aquilegia pyrenaica, Aquilegia reuteri, Aquilegia ruprechtii, Aquilegia saximontana

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Columbine (Aquilegia bertolonii) is not widely known for being toxic to humans. However, as with many plants, it is possible that some people may have a sensitivity or allergic reaction if they handle or ingest parts of the plant. It would be prudent to avoid ingesting any part of the Columbine, as the exact toxic properties and potential consequences are not well studied.

    • To pets

      Just like for humans, Columbine (Aquilegia bertolonii) is not widely known as a toxic plant to pets. Still, it may cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested by pets due to the presence of certain compounds in the plant. To be safe, pets should not be allowed to ingest any part of the plant. If a pet does consume Columbine, watch for symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, and consult a veterinarian if these or other concerning symptoms develop.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Aquilegia Bertolonii, commonly known as Columbine, is known to attract beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which are vital for the pollination of many plants.
    • Garden Aesthetics: With its unique and delicate flowers, Columbine adds beauty and character to gardens, providing a variety of colors and shapes that enhance visual interest.
    • Biodiversity: By introducing Columbine into a garden, you contribute to increasing plant diversity which supports a healthier ecosystem.
    • Low Maintenance: Columbine is generally easy to care for and does not require frequent watering or fertilization, making it suitable for gardeners looking for low-maintenance plants.
    • Shade Tolerance: Columbine can thrive in shady areas where many other plants may struggle, allowing for gardening in a variety of locations and conditions.
    • Naturalization: Columbine has the ability to self-seed and spread naturally, filling in garden spaces and creating a more natural, wildflower-like appearance over time.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Aquilegia bertolonii, commonly known as Bertoloni's columbine, can be used in butterfly gardens as it attracts various species of nectar-seeking butterflies.
    • The plant's nectar-rich flowers serve as a valuable food source for native bee populations, supporting pollinator biodiversity.
    • Bertoloni's columbine can be used as a natural dye source for fabrics, yielding subtle hues depending on the mordant used.
    • The crushed leaves of the plant may serve as a potential repellent for certain insect pests in a natural garden setting.
    • The seeds of Bertoloni's columbine can be used in decorative crafts, such as making seed-embedded paper for eco-friendly stationery.
    • This plant can be featured in educational environments, such as schools and botanical gardens, to teach about native species and their ecosystem roles.
    • Bertoloni's columbine's distinct foliage adds texture to garden compositions, particularly in rock or alpine gardens.
    • The plant can function as a natural ground cover in shaded areas where other plants might struggle to grow.
    • Photographers and artists may be drawn to Bertoloni's columbine for its unique shape and vibrant colors, providing inspiration for their works.
    • Cultural events or festivals that celebrate local flora could incorporate Bertoloni's columbine into their design and decor, symbolizing the region's natural heritage.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Columbine is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Columbine is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Strength and Protection: The common name for Aquilegia bertolonii is "Columbine," and in general, columbines are often seen as symbols of strength due to their sturdy stems and ability to grow in challenging environments. They are also associated with protection because of the nectar spurs that shield them from unwanted visitors.
    • Faith and Aspiration: With its upward-facing blossoms, columbines are viewed as a symbol of faith and aspiration, as they appear to be reaching for the heavens. This can represent the act of aiming high and striving for one's goals.
    • Wisdom: Some cultures consider the columbine a symbol of wisdom due to the intricate design of its flowers, which may denote a complexity that is associated with deep knowledge and thought.

Every 1-2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Columbine, the common name for Aquilegia bertolonii, prefers consistently moist soil, so it's important to water it regularly. Depending on climate conditions, watering once or twice a week may be sufficient, providing approximately 1 gallon of water per plant each time to ensure moisture penetrates deep into the soil. During hot and dry periods, increase the frequency of watering but always check the soil first; it should be moist but not waterlogged. In cooler months or when rainfall is abundant, you can decrease the amount of water to prevent overwatering.

  • sunLight

    Columbine thrives in a spot with partial shade to full sun, making it flexible for various garden locations. It can handle 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, but in hotter climates, afternoons shade is beneficial to protect it from intense sun exposure. Place it in an area where it can receive filtered sunlight or a mix of sun and shade for optimal growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Columbine is resilient and best suited for cooler climates, thriving at temperatures between 50°F and 70°F. It can survive short periods of temperatures slightly above this range, but prolonged heat can stress the plant. Ideally, it prefers not to be exposed to temperatures below 35°F or above 80°F. However, it can handle light frost due to its hardiness.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Columbine after flowering to encourage new growth and a tidy appearance. Remove spent flowers and any dead or damaged foliage. This can be done once the blooming period is over, usually in late summer or fall. Pruning helps the plant conserve energy and may also stimulate a second flush of blooms in some cases.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Alpine Columbine thrives best in well-draining soil mixed with compost and loam, maintaining a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Alpine Columbine typically doesn't require frequent repotting; it can be repotted every 2-3 years or as necessary if it outgrows its pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Alpine Columbine prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and does not require specific humidity conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, and well-draining soil for indoor Alpine Columbine.

    • Outdoor

      Alpine Columbine requires partial shade, cool temps, and moist, rich soil outdoors.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Aquilegia bertolonii, commonly known as Bertoloni's columbine, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically germinating in early spring after experiencing vernalization, or exposure to cold temperatures, which breaks seed dormancy. Upon germination, it develops a rosette of basal leaves during its vegetative stage, gradually forming a deep root system that enables it to survive in rocky, well-drained soils where it commonly grows. During late spring to early summer, the plant sends up flowering stalks, featuring distinctive spurred flowers that are usually blue to violet in color, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After pollination occurs, the flowers develop into follicles containing numerous small black seeds that mature by late summer. The seeds are dispersed by wind, water, or gravity, completing the reproductive stage. Bertoloni's columbine has a perennial life cycle, with individual plants often living for several years, during which they undergo seasonal cycles of growth, flowering, seed production, and dormancy, typically with a period of reduced activity in winter.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Aquilegia bertolonii, commonly known as Bertoloni's Columbine, is most commonly propagated through seed sowing. The ideal time to sow seeds is in late winter to early spring. Seeds can be started indoors in small pots or trays with seed starting mix. They should be pressed gently into the soil and covered with a very light sprinkling of soil, as they need light to germinate. The germination process can be improved by stratifying the seeds, which involves chilling them in a refrigerator for about three to four weeks before sowing. Maintaining a consistent soil temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) will help ensure successful germination. Once seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves, they can be carefully transplanted into individual pots or directly into the garden.