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Double Flowered European Columbine

Aquilegia vulgaris ‘plena’
European Columbines have been grown in British gardens since at least the fourteenth century{fn]Alice M. Coates, Flowers and their Histories. (London: Black, 1968), 25. Coates goes on to describe its medicinal uses dating back to this time for jaundice, smallpox, and other diseases on pages 25-26.[/fn], and Gerard's 1597 description of the double variety still applies: "The flowers hereof be very double, that is to say, many of those little flowers (having the form of birds) are thrust one into the belly of another, some-times blew, often white, and otherwhiles of mixt colours, as nature list to plaie with hir little ones..."[fn]Ibid, 26.[/fn] Both single and double forms were grown in America before 1700, and it is likely that Jefferson had this easy-to-grow perennial, since he included "Columbines" in an undated list of cultivated flowers.[fn]Edwin M. Betts, Hazlehurst Bolton Perkins, and Peter J. Hatch, Thomas Jefferson's Flower Garden at Monticello, 3rd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1986), 54. Denise Wiles Adams cites John Winthrop, Jr,'s 1631 citation as America's first. See Adams, Restoring American Gardens: An Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants, 1640-1940 (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc., 2004), 170.[/fn] The Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon, listed "Double Columbines, of colours" in his 1804 broadsheet.This variety is a hardy, spring-flowering perennial with showy, distinctly spurred, double blossoms ranging in color from deep purple and blue to pink and white. See AlsoFurther Sources
Growth Type: 
Purple, Blue, Pink, White
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
Location at Monticello: 
East and West Lawn Beds
Planting Conditions: 
Partial Shade
Blooming History: 
2002 Apr 15 to 2002 Jun 142003 Apr 23 to 2003 May 302004 May 1 to 2004 Jun 82005 May 10 to 2005 Jun 102006 Apr 28 to 2006 Jun 12007 Apr 30 to 2007 Jun 252008 May 2 to 2008 Jun 62009 May 6 to 2009 Jul 42010 Apr 23 to 2010 Jun 212011 Apr 28 to 2011 Jul 72012 Apr 6 to 2012 Jun 152014 May 1 to 2014 Jun 52015 May 8 to 2015 Jun 232017 Apr 26 to 2017 Jun 232018 May 28 to 2018 Jun 28
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