Herb: Rocky Mountain Columbine


Latin name: Aquilegia caerulea


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Medicinal use of Rocky Mountain Columbine:

Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, parasiticide, resolvent, salve. The seed was chewed, or an infusion of the root was used, to treat abdominal pains and general sickness.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
April
to July

Habitat of the herb:

A wide range of habitats, especially in aspen groves, in the upper levels of the Rockies.

Edible parts of Rocky Mountain Columbine:

Flowers - raw. Rich in nectar, they have a sweet taste, they make a very attractive addition to mixed salads and can also be used as a thirst-quenching munch in the garden.

Other uses of the herb:

The seed is used as a parasiticide to rid the hair of lice.

Propagation of Rocky Mountain Columbine:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be slow to germinate. Stored seed can be sown in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

A wide range of habitats, especially in aspen groves, in the upper levels of the Rockies.

Known hazards of Aquilegia caerulea:

Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, it belongs to a family that contains a number of mildly toxic species. It is therefore wise to exercise some caution. The flowers are probably perfectly safe to eat.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.