Aquilegia glandulosa
Common Name: columbine 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Central Asia to Siberia
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Blue and white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils except heavy, poorly-drained ones. Prefers rich, moist soils with light to moderate shade. Remove flowering stems after bloom to encourage additional bloom. Keep soils uniformly moist after bloom to prolong attractive foliage appearance. When foliage depreciates, plants may be cut to the ground. This plant may be grown from seed and may self-seed in the garden under optimum growing conditions. However, different varieties of columbine may cross-pollinate in the garden when grown in the same area producing seed that is at variance with either or both parents. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 3.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aquilegia glandulosa, commonly known as Siberian columbine, is a compact perennial that grows to only 12” tall. It features narrow, 2-ternate, blue-green basal leaves and nodding blue and white flowers (each to 1 3/4” long) which bloom in spring (April-May). It is very similar in characteristics to A. flabellate (fan columbine), primarily differing by having pubescent pistils and strongly hooked incurved spurs (to 1/2” long). Dull black seeds. Native from central Asia to Siberia.

Genus name comes from the Latin word for eagle in reference to the flower’s five spurs which purportedly resemble an eagle’s talon.

Specific epithet means glandular.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to leaf miner. Watch for columbine borer. Foliage usually declines by mid-summer at which point it should be cut to the ground.


Compact shape makes this one of the better columbines for rock gardens. Also good in borders, cottage gardens, open shade gardens or naturalized areas. Can be effective in the sun-dappled areas of woodland gardens. Continue to water plants after bloom to enjoy the ground cover effect of the attractive foliage.