Herb: Fan Columbine

Latin name: Aquilegia flabellata

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Edible parts of Fan Columbine:

Leaves - cooked. They must be thoroughly boiled. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flowers - raw. Sweet and delightful, they make a very attractive addition to mixed salads and can also be used as a thirst-quenching munch in the garden. The flowers are also used as a tea substitute.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Scrub in the alpine regions of C. and N. Japan.

Other uses of Fan Columbine:

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

Propagation of the herb:

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 Fan Columbine:

Scrub in the alpine regions of C. and N. Japan.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Aquilegia flabellata:

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.