I can’t imagine my little woodland garden without columbines. I think I would grow them for their bluish-green leaves and nothing more, but I do love the spurred flowers. They resemble stars wearing little pointed hats. I like to mix columbine with other shade tolerant plants such as spiderwort, Virginia sweetspire, hosta, ferns and variegated Solomon’s seal. This makes a delightful composition in the shadier parts of your garden.

Columbine are low growing herbaceous plants with small basal parsley shaped leaves in a medium green color. Their striking bell shaped flower is composed of 5 petals which are elongated into spurs that appear to be swept back by a strong wind. The flowers can be solid colored or multicolored, ranging from white to yellow to purple to red. Columbine is happiest in full to partial shade and prefers a well-drained, fertile soil. It responds well to being watered regularly to keep the soil consistently moist.

perennial, shade lover, north american native
Bloom Time
Partial Shade
poor to average well drained soil
Plant Height
1 to 3 feet