Columbine, McKana Hybrids (Aquilegia x hybrida)
Sun to part sun. Dappled light is good.
Late spring to early summer
Not fussy but avoid very dry soils
24 to 36 inches
Mixed colors and bicolors
Mixed beds. cut flower. attracts hummingbirds.
Fairly easy. very beautiful. Establishes quickly. Cut back after flowering. Division not needed.
Columbines are long-time favorites in the perennial garden. They have a beautiful, unique flower shape that I am never quite able to explain. They flower late spring to early summer - and longer during cool, wet summers. The plants prefer a moisture retentive soil rich in organic matter and light shade or dappled sun. Columbines will tolerate drier soil and fuller sun but blooms will not last as long. Likewise, they can take heavier shade but flowering will be less profuse.
McKannas range from 2 to 3 feet and come in a wide range of colors. Nora Barlow is about 2 feet has a lovely spurless flower that is red with white tips. Both are beautiful as cut flowers. Space plants about a foot apart. Division is not needed or recommended.