Herb: Columbine

Latin name: Aquilegia flavescens

Synonyms: Aquilegia canadensis flavescens

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Medicinal use of Columbine:

Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, parasiticide, resolvent, salve.

Description of the plant:


75 cm
(2 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Moist mountain meadows to alpine slopes.

Edible parts of Columbine:

Flowers - raw. Rich in nectar, they are 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.

Other uses of the herb:

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

Propagation of 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:

Moist mountain meadows to alpine slopes.

Known hazards of Aquilegia flavescens:

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.