Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The Columbine flower (Aquilegia) are must haves for any high elevation garden. In fact, some species would rather grow in alpine regions! They truly are a High Altitude Homestead must have.
These hardy perennials tend to send up a ton of flower heads, and readily self seed, making it easy to have a wonderful patch of these beautiful blooms. You truly couldn't ask for a more carefree and easy to cultivate showy flowering plant for a mountain garden.
Columbines are my official state flower, and for good reason! They tend to be the showiest of all alpine flowers. Not only that but they are deer resistant, frost hardy, and don't mind average, dry soil, making them super simple to cultivate in this high and dry climate. Simply sow seeds on top of the soil in fall and they will continue to come back for years.
One interesting thing about Columbines is that they have been integral in evolutionary studies. The reason being that many different species have become adapted to one specific pollinator, making them very important flowers to the locale of sed creatures!
Hummingbirds and bumblebees especially enjoy the sweet aquilegia nectar. Both creatures need all the help they can get, so plant some Columbines already!
Check out my quick video on How To Collect Columbine Seeds. Be sure to like, share, and subscribe for more no nonsense gardening know-how from High Altitude Homestead!