Columbine Aquilegia 'Dove' (Songbird Series)
The Aquilegia 'Dove' from the Songbird Series, commonly known as Columbine, is a delightful perennial plant known for its unique and eye-catching flowers. The blooms of this variety are distinctively shaped with an upward-facing orientation, presenting an elegant and inviting appearance. The flowers of 'Dove' Columbine have a soft, luminous white color that gleams in the garden, resembling the gentle features of its namesake bird. Each flower is composed of two sets of petals. The outer petals are large, round, and petal-like, encircling a set of inner petals with elongated, tubular spurs that gracefully extend backwards from the bloom. These spurs are a hallmark of the Columbine flower form and add to the plant's fairy-like charm. The foliage of the Columbine is a lovely blue-green, forming a delicate lattice of rounded leaves that are lobed and divided, somewhat resembling clover leaves in shape. The leaves form a pretty mound beneath the flowers, providing a lush backdrop that highlights the pristine beauty of the blooms. Flowering in late spring to early summer, the 'Dove' Columbine's blossoms are perched atop slender, straight stems that sway gently with the breeze, adding movement and a soft touch to the garden landscape. Its restrained color palette makes it a versatile addition that can complement a wide array of other plants in garden beds and borders.
About this plant
Columbine, Granny's Bonnet.
Columbine, which includes the 'Dove' variety from the Songbird Series, contains several toxic alkaloids that can be harmful if ingested. The plant parts, including seeds and roots, are the most toxic. If a person eats columbine parts, they may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to heart palpitations, tremors, and it could potentially be fatal if consumed in large quantities. Contact with your local poison control center or seek medical attention is advised if columbine is ingested.
Columbine can be toxic to pets if ingested. The entire plant contains harmful substances, particularly the seeds and roots which contain cyanogenic glycosides and other alkaloids. Symptoms of poisoning in pets may include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can also result in heart problems, tremors, and respiratory difficulties. If you suspect your pet has ingested columbine, contact a veterinarian promptly.
Color of leaves
2 feet (60 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: Provides a valuable nectar source for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, enhancing pollination in the garden.
- Easy to Grow: Known for being low-maintenance and easy to care for, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, has a good level of tolerance for dry conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Long Blooming Period: Offers a lengthy bloom time, providing color and interest in the garden throughout spring and summer.
- Cold Hardy: Can withstand cold temperatures, making it a suitable perennial for cooler climates and seasonal changes.
- Ornamental Value: Has distinctive, attractive foliage and eye-catching flowers that add aesthetic value to landscaping.
- Cottage Garden Appeal: With its old-fashioned charm, it fits well in cottage-style garden designs.
- Variety of Colors: The 'Dove' variety has elegant white blooms, which can be easily mixed with other plants to create a diverse palette.
- Container Gardening: Suitable for growing in containers or pots, providing flexibility in garden design and space utilization.
- Deer Resistance: Often avoided by deer, which can be an important benefit in areas where deer browsing is a problem for gardeners.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Columbine, especially the 'Dove' variety, can be used as a natural dye source, offering subtle shades of color for fabrics and yarns.
- The flowers can be pressed and included in botanical art or herbarium collections, adding an aesthetic appeal to crafts and educational materials.
- Columbine seeds are often used in seed art, taking advantage of their small size and shape to create intricate designs and patterns.
- Due to their unique shape, columbines are sometimes used as floral inspiration for jewelry designs, particularly in handcrafted or artisan pieces.
- The spent foliage of columbines, when dried, can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for a rustic, natural element.
- Plant enthusiasts may use columbines in photography projects to capture the detailed structure of the flowers and their appealing symmetry.
- Columbine flowers are sometimes used as natural decorations for cakes and pastries when properly cleaned and ensured to be free of pesticides.
- The plant can play a role in educational gardens or biology lessons, illustrating topics like pollination, plant anatomy, and biodiversity.
- During themed events or historical reenactments, columbines can be used to adorn costumes, particularly those from periods where the flower was culturally significant.
- Gardeners might employ columbines in companion planting to attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden, thereby supporting the health and productivity of other plants.
- Feng Shui
The Columbine is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Columbine is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Foolishness: The common name for Aquilegia is Columbine, which is derived from the Latin word "columba" meaning "dove," but is also linked to "columbinus," meaning "foolishness," possibly due to the jesters' caps shape of the flowers.
- Innocence: The dove-like shape of the 'Dove' Aquilegia's flowers symbolizes purity and innocence associated with doves in various cultures.
- Peace: Similar to the dove, which is universally recognized as a symbol of peace, the Aquilegia 'Dove' can signify a desire for calm and peace.
- Resilience: Aquilegias, also known as Columbines, have the ability to grow in challenging conditions, making them a symbol of perseverance and resilience.
Columbine 'Dove', like other columbines, prefers evenly moist soil, so it's important to water it once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil type, ensuring the soil does not dry out completely. Water it deeply, so the water reaches the root zone, generally using about one gallon of water per plant for each watering session. During hot and dry periods, you might need to water more frequently, making sure that the water penetrates the top 6 to 8 inches of soil without causing waterlogging. Reduce the frequency of watering as the weather cools and during the plant's dormant period in late fall to winter.
Columbine 'Dove' flourishes best in partial shade to full sun. Ideally, a spot that offers morning sunlight and protection from the intense afternoon sun would be perfect, as columbines enjoy bright but indirect light. They can tolerate full sun in cooler climates, but in hot areas, the shade during the hottest part of the day will help prevent leaf scorch.
Columbines, including the Columbine 'Dove', prefer cooler temperatures and flourish in a temperature range of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive minimum temperatures down to around -20 degrees Fahrenheit during dormancy, but should not be exposed to extremes above 85 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods. The ideal growing conditions for these plants are in areas with cool summer temperatures.
Prune Columbine 'Dove' to remove faded flowers and encourage a second bloom, cutting back the flowering stems to a pair of leaves just below the spent bloom. Once the blooming season is over, usually in late summer or early fall, cut the foliage back to about 2 to 3 inches above the ground level to help prevent disease and pests. Additionally, some gardeners prefer to trim off the old foliage in the spring to make way for fresh growth, but this is not strictly necessary.
Aquilegia 'Dove', commonly known as Columbine, prefers a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. A blend of garden loam, peat, and perlite or coarse sand can provide suitable conditions for healthy growth.
Columbine typically does not require frequent repotting and can thrive in the same spot for several years. Repotting every 3 to 4 years or when it becomes root-bound is sufficient to maintain its health.
- Humidity & Misting
Columbine does not have specific high humidity requirements and can thrive in average room humidity levels. Consistent moisture in the air, akin to the outdoor garden environment where it naturally thrives, is usually sufficient.
- Suitable locations
Provide bright, indirect light and keep soil moist for indoor Columbine.
Choose semi-shaded spot and ensure soil drainage for outdoor Columbine growth.
- Life cycle
Columbine 'Dove' begins its life cycle as a seed, which when sown, germinates in cooler temperatures. Upon germination, seedlings emerge and develop into young plants with distinctive, lobed foliage. As the plants mature, they produce clumps of graceful, blue-green leaves. In late spring to early summer, they send up flowering stems bearing the iconic, nodding white flowers with a ring of showy, spurred petals which are favored by hummingbirds and bees. After pollination, typically by these creatures, the flowers develop into fruit capsules containing many small black seeds. These seeds are eventually dispersed near the parent plant or further afield to complete the cycle, and the plant itself may die back in winter, only to re-emerge from its perennial rootstock the following spring.
Spring to early summer
Aquilegia 'Dove', commonly known as the Dove Columbine, is typically propagated by seed. The ideal time to sow seeds is in fall to early spring, allowing for natural stratification during the cold winter months. The process involves sowing seeds in a tray filled with a well-drained seed starting mix, lightly covering them with soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and position the tray in a bright area without direct sunlight. Germination can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots before being planted out into the garden after the risk of frost has passed. This method is favored for preserving the genetic diversity of the Columbine varieties within the Songbird Series.