Columbine Aquilegia 'Louisiana' (State Series)
The Aquilegia 'Louisiana' (State Series), commonly known as the Louisiana Columbine, exhibits a captivating display of colorful blooms and attractive foliage. The flowers are particularly striking, characterized by a two-tiered arrangement of petals. The lower layer features broad, rounded petals that are often brightly colored in shades that may include blues, purples, pinks, and whites. These petals serve as an elegant backdrop to the distinctive upward-spurred petals that sit above them. The spurs are elongated, tubular structures, and they're typically the same vibrant color as the lower petals, creating a harmonious visual effect. The Louisiana Columbine's blossoms are held aloft on slender, branching stems which emerge from the plant's base, providing a delicate, airy appearance. Beneath the flowers, the foliage contributes to the plant's charm. The leaves are compound, with multiple leaflets per leaf, and they possess a lovely, lobed shape that varies from broad and rounded to more elongated forms. The green of the leaves is a rich and lush backdrop for the flowers, completing the plant's picturesque presentation. Overall, the Louisiana Columbine captivates with its unique flower structure and the vivid contrast between its blossoms and the verdant leaves. The aesthetic combination of its intricate, spurred flowers and the soft texture of its foliage makes it a favored choice for ornamental gardens.
About this plant
Louisiana Columbine, Columbine
Columbine is known to contain toxic substances, particularly in the roots and seeds. If ingested, these toxins can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation. In severe cases, it can affect the heart rate and might cause severe gastrointestinal or cardiac complications. It is crucial to avoid consuming any part of the plant, especially in significant quantities.
Columbine is also toxic to pets. Similar to humans, the ingestion of roots or seeds can result in gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in pets. If a pet consumes a large amount of the plant, it might suffer from more severe symptoms such as heart palpitations or seizures. Pets should not be allowed to eat any part of the columbine plant to prevent poisoning.
Color of leaves
2 feet 24 inches (60 cm)
1 foot 12 inches (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Aesthetic Appeal: Adds visual interest to gardens with its unique spurred flowers and attractive foliage.
- Pollinator Attraction: Flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which can help pollinate other plants in the garden.
- Versatility: Suitable for a variety of garden settings, including borders, rock gardens, and woodland areas.
- Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, thriving in a range of light conditions and soil types.
- Drought Tolerance: Able to withstand periods of low water availability, making it suitable for xeriscaping or drought-prone areas.
- Seasonal Interest: Provides color and interest in late spring to early summer when many other plants have not yet bloomed.
- Deer Resistance: Tends to be resistant to deer, reducing the likelihood of damage from wildlife.
- Cut Flowers: Makes for attractive cut flowers, adding a whimsical touch to indoor floral arrangements.
- 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, like Aquilegia 'Louisiana', can be used in potpourri for its delightful fragrance.
- The dried seed pods of columbine can add an interesting touch to floral displays and craft projects.
- Fine dining establishments sometimes use columbine flowers as edible decor for specialty dishes due to their unique appearance.
- The flowers of the columbine plant can serve as natural dyes for fabrics and art projects.
- Columbine can be used as a teaching tool in horticulture and botany due to its distinct spur characteristic and wide range of colors.
- Photographers may use columbine in their work for its aesthetic appeal, particularly for macro photography.
- Some cultures may use columbine flowers in ceremonial garlands or decorations during festivals or weddings.
- Artisans might press columbine flowers to create delicate bookmarks or greeting cards.
- Children sometimes use the hollow stems of columbine to create tiny pea shooters or whistles.
- Crafters might use the foliage and flowers of columbine in scrapbooking or paper making for textural interest.
- Feng Shui
The Aquilegia, commonly known as Columbine, is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Columbine is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Columbine (General): The columbine flower, including Aquilegia 'Louisiana', is generally associated with foolishness, based on its common name derived from the Latin 'columba' meaning dove. The shape of the flowers resembles a group of doves, and in the language of flowers, it can represent silliness or a lack of wisdom.
- Strength: Due to its ability to grow in harsh conditions and rocky soils, the columbine also symbolizes strength and resilience in the face of hardship.
- Faith and Aspiration: The unique spurred petals of the columbine flower can symbolize aspiration and the desire to reach toward goals and dreams, as well as a deep and enduring faith within.
- Love and Affection: In certain traditions, the columbine is a symbol of love and is given to convey affection. It’s also used in some folklore to attract love or to represent a strong bond between lovers.
Columbine should be watered deeply but infrequently to encourage strong root development. Once established, they are relatively drought tolerant and require watering only once a week during dry spells, with about 1 inch of water per session. The soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. During the first growing season, ensure consistent moisture to help the plants get established. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of leaf diseases and water at the base of the plant, using roughly 0.5 gallons per plant each time during the active growing season.
Columbine thrives in dappled sunlight or part shade, making them ideal for spots that receive morning sun and afternoon shade or light filtered through canopy trees. They can tolerate full sun in cooler climates, but in warmer areas, protection from the harsh afternoon sun will prevent scorching of the leaves and ensure the best flowering results. The optimal growing spot for Columbine is an area with ample indirect light that mimics their natural woodland habitat.
Columbine prefers moderate temperatures and can grow well in temperatures ranging from 50 to 70°F. They can survive minimum winter temperatures down to -20°F and can handle summer highs moderately well as long as they are not exposed to prolonged periods of heat above 90°F. Ideally, Columbine should be grown in areas where the summer temperatures hover around the 70s°F for optimal blooming and foliage health.
Columbine benefits from pruning to remove spent flower stems after blooming to promote a tidy appearance and potentially encourage a second bloom. Dead leaves and damaged stems should also be pruned to maintain plant health and prevent disease. The best time for pruning is in late fall or early spring. Pruning is typically done annually, or as needed to remove dead or unsightly foliage.
Columbine 'Louisiana' thrives in well-draining, moist soil enriched with organic matter, with a preferred pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A mix containing loam, compost, and peat moss is ideal, ensuring good aeration and fertility.
Columbine 'Louisiana' doesn't require frequent repotting; it can be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its container. Division of roots during repotting can encourage healthier growth.
- Humidity & Misting
Columbine 'Louisiana' prefers moderate humidity levels. Ensure adequate air circulation to prevent high humidity which can lead to fungal diseases.
- Suitable locations
Ensure bright indirect light, and keep soil moist.
Plant in partial shade to full sun, in moist, rich soil.
- Life cycle
Aquilegia 'Louisiana' (State Series), commonly known as Columbine, begins its life cycle when the seeds germinate, typically in the spring, requiring a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. After germination, seedlings emerge and develop into small rosettes of foliage, with true leaves forming as they mature. As the plants grow, they develop a deep root system and by late spring or early summer, tall stems rise above the foliage, bearing distinctive spurred flowers that attract pollinators. Following pollination, these flowers produce follicles containing seeds that will mature by late summer. Seeds are then dispersed by wind or gravity. Columbines may enter a period of dormancy in winter, particularly in colder climates, but existing plants will sprout new growth from their crowns the following spring, repeating the cycle, and they can also self-seed readily, creating new plants nearby.
Aquilegia 'Louisiana', commonly known as Columbine, is most popularly propagated through seed sowing. The ideal time for sowing Columbine seeds is either in late winter or early spring, which allows enough time for stratification—a period of cold treatment that aids in breaking seed dormancy. To propagate by seed, you should start indoors by distributing the seeds evenly over a well-draining seed starting mix. Cover the seeds lightly with soil as they need light for germination, and place the container in a spot with indirect light. The soil should be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Germination usually occurs within 3 to 4 weeks at temperatures between 65°F and 70°F (18°C and 21°C). Once seedlings have developed a set of true leaves and the risk of frost has passed, they can be hardened off and transferred to a suitable location in the garden.