Rotary Eco Gardens, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
May 30, 2010

Columbine – Double-flowered Aquilegia × hybrida

January 22, 2011

It’s a little chilly out today (minus 25 C or minus 15 F) and I was wistfully going through the archives, wishing it was Spring. But Spring is quite a while away.

Variations found of the same species, all within about a 20 foot radius.

With thanks to

Aquilegia (Columbine; from Latin columba “dove”) is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants 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 are said to resemble an eagle’s claw.

“Columbine” is derived from the Latin word for pigeon (columba).


Fruit is a follicle.


Columbines are closely related to plants in the genera Actaea (baneberries) and Aconitum (wolfsbanes/monkshoods), which like Aquilegia produce cardiogenic toxins.


They are used as food plants by some Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) caterpillars. These are mainly of noctuid moths – noted for feeding on many poisonous plants without harm – like Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae), Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae) and Mouse Moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis). The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), a geometer moth, also uses columbine as larval foodplant.


The flowers of various species of Colombine were consumed in moderation by Native Americans as a condiment with other fresh greens, and are reported to be very sweet, and safe if consumed in small quantities. The plant’s seeds and roots are highly poisonous however, and contain cardiogenic toxins which cause both severe gastroenteritis and heart palpitations if consumed as food. Native Americans used very small amounts of Aquilegia root as an effective treatment for ulcers. However, the medical use of this plant is better avoided due to its high toxicity; columbine poisonings may be fatal.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm, circular polarizer
iso 100, spot metered, F6.7, 1/15 second

179 views as of 3/12/11


aorbflowers, wildflowers, flowers, columbine, aquilegia, ontario, feetyur

In love with Ma Nature! Always have been, always will be. Let’s keep her safe, eh?

View Full Profile


  • Robin Webster
    Robin Websterover 3 years ago

    Beautiful delicate colours and wonderful composition Mike! Pure magic!

  • Thanks so very much, Robin. The blue and dark red ones are regulars in the eco gardens, but the variations were new (at least to me) last spring.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Oops! And thanks for the “fave”, too!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Dorothy Thomson
    Dorothy Thomsonover 3 years ago

    Uncommon to see a double flowered one, these are beauts Mike and wonderful info. You’re like me………waiting patiently for spring!!

  • Many thanks, Dorothy! Took me agess to ID these. I was sure they were a columbine type, but needed confirmation. And I’m not waiting patiently for spring. I want it here and I want it here NOW! :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 3 years ago

    bring them on Mike, nothing like getting rid of the old while (im)patiently waiting for the new, lol
    I guess you read my note, well thank you for this beautiful entry today, what a gorgeous array of colors.

  • Thanks so very much, Vickie. I was amazed by all these variations of the same species, so close to each other. I’ve said it before elsewhere, but maybe if we post enough spring flowers, it might come a little earlier! Wishful thinking, I know, but it can’t hurt! :o)
    I’ve still got a few in the archives not posted yet…..

    – Mike Oxley

  • nastruck
    nastruckover 3 years ago

    Beautiful Mike!!!!

  • Many thanks, Harold! Is it Spring yet??? :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
    (Tallow) Dave ...over 3 years ago

    very nice shot Mike

  • Greatly appreciated, Dave. Thank you!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaover 3 years ago

    Lovely DOF Mikey.

  • Thanks so very much, Al! Much appreciated!

    – Mike Oxley

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 3 years ago

    Lovely . . .

  • Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Lorilee! Appreciate your kind words!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Lynn  Gibbons
    Lynn Gibbonsover 3 years ago

    Wonderful shot!

  • Many, many thanks for your wonderful support, Lynn! Greatly appreciated!

    – Mike Oxley

  • gingermegs
    gingermegsover 3 years ago

    Lovely capture! Haven’t seen a double before:)

  • Thanks so very much, Mary. Obviously, I have seen them, but I hadn’t a clue what they were!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • Thanks, Ray!

    – Mike Oxley

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait