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.