Aquilegia vulgaris

DSCF2360

Aquilegia vulgaris L. (European columbine, Common columbine, Granny’s nightcap, Granny’s bonnet) is a species of columbine native to Europe. It is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with branched, thinly hairy stems. The leaves are biternate; each leaf has three groups of three leaflets. The flowers, in various shades of purple, blue, pink and white, are pendent or horizontal with hooked spurs, and appear in early Summer.

Cultivation

This species and various hybrids derived from it are popular garden flowers, available in a variety of single colours and bi-colours, in single and double forms. Though perennial, cultivars may be short-lived and thus best treated as biennials. Spent flower-heads should be removed to prevent the plant going to seed. Cultivars include the Barlow series (Nora Barlow, Black Barlow, Rose Barlow, Christa Barlow), Pretty Bonnets. Seeds may be sold as mixtures. ‘Nora Barlow’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Pests and diseases

Aphids and sawfly larvae may attack the plant.

Folklore

In traditional herbalism columbine was considered sacred to Venus; carrying a posy of it was said arouse the affections of a loved one. Nicholas Culpeper recommended it to ease the pains of childbirth. In modern herbal medicine it is used as an astringent and diuretic.

Toxicity

The plant is a member of the poisonous Ranunculus family and all parts of the plant, including the seeds, are poisonous if ingested. The dried crushed seeds made into a dusting powder will kill lice very effectively.[medical citation needed] It is possible that inhaling the crushed seeds dust or otherwise absorbing oils from them may cause poisoning or at minimum exhibit symptoms of poisoning.[citation needed]

The acute toxicity test in mice showed that ethanol extract and the main flavonoid compound isocytisoside from the leaves and stems of Aquilegia vulgaris can be classified as nontoxic since a dose of 3000 mg/kg did not cause mortality in mice.

(Source: Wikipedia)

5 thoughts on “Aquilegia vulgaris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: