Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata

‘Ruby Port’


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Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Ruby Port’

This beautiful “Granny Bonnet” has rich wine-red blooms on tall stems rising above its ferny soft foliage. Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Ruby Port’ gives year round interest with its beautiful foliage and rich blooms.

Growing: Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Ruby Port’

Height with flowers: 45cm. approx. branching flower stems. While the evergreen clump of pretty foliage is approx. 25cm high. 
Width: Evergreen foliage clump of approx. 25cm.diameter.
Position: Will grow willingly in anything from Partial Shade to Full Sun. However if you wish to indulge it with perfection, it will positively purr in woodland conditions, in the Dappled Shade under trees and shrubs.
Soil: Average garden loam with some organic matter such as mulch is perfect. However tough Aquilegia vulgaris is not particularly fussy or choosy about soil types. It takes either acid or alkaline lime pH soils in it’s stride, and will thrive in all soil types from sandy to clay. However waterlogged soil will drop it dead in its’ tracks. 
– Fragrance:
Frost: Very frost hardy, as it is able the shrug off frosts to well below -10C. 

Water-wise & easy, low maintenance

Water-wise: Aquilegia vulgaris is a water-wise plant, thriving on average garden watering, and well able to withstand periods of dry once established. They actually quite like to dry out between waterings too – bless them.
Care: No fuss, very easy care and low maintenance. As the only work to do each year is to cut back the spent flower stems after blooming. Can use them as mulch in areas where you want new Granny Bonnet plants, the seeds will drop and start a new colony for you.
Growth: Evergreen perennial clump, repeat blooming each spring-summer. Aquilegia vulgaris will self seed but they are not invasive, and are easy to weed out if you don’t want them in that spot. 

Other benefits

Beneficial for wildlife: Flowers provide food for bees, butterflies and also small native honey-eating birds.
Cut flowers: Aquilegia vulgaris provides armloads of Granny Bonnet flowers for vases, where they are very long lasting as cut flowers.  
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Happily for gardeners, the roots, leaves and flowers contain chemical compounds that rabbits and deer cannot abide. So they ignore them and cannot be persuaded to eat the lush foliage. Not even slugs and snails will eat Aquilegia vulgaris. 

An interesting history

Origin: Originating in Western, Central and Southern Europe and naturalized in North America. Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Ruby Port’ is an heirloom columbine cultivar that dates back to the 1600s. 
A wealth of names for a much loved flower: The name Aquilegia comes from Latin, where the word for eagle is “aquila”. The shape of the flower petals does indeed  resemble the claw of an eagle. So it is an apt name. 
Aquilegias have acquired many common names over the centuries, because they have been loved, brought in from the wild, and treasured by gardeners over many centuries
The common name “columbine” also comes from Latin. The Latin word for “dove” makes a very apt name and refers to the flower resembling five doves billing and cooing together.


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