Aquilegia (common names: Granny's Bonnet or Columbine) is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants in the Ranunculaceae family, that are found in meadows, woodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, known for the spurred petals of their flowers.
The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle's claw. The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove", due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.
Columbine is a hardy perennial, which propagates by seed. It will grow to a height of 30-60 cm. It will grow in full sun; however, it prefers growing in partial shade and well drained soil, and is able to tolerate average soils and dry soil conditions. Columbine is rated at hardiness zone 3 in the USA so does not require mulching or protection in the winter.
Large numbers of hybrids are available for the garden, since the British A. vulgaris was joined by other European and North American varieties. Aquilegia species are very interfertile, and will self-sow. Some varieties are short-lived so are better treated as biennials. Several hybrid cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.