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Columbine - Aquilegia vulgari is a poisonous plant

Columbine - Aquilegia vulgaris
Family - Ranunculaceae, Also known as -
Aquilegia, Granny's bonnet, Culverwort, European Crowfoot

This plant is poisonous

Columbine is a herbaceous perennial growing to 1.2M (47in) high, native to the UK and Europe and introduced to North Asia, North-West Africa, and North America.  It has tall branched, thinly hairy stems.  Pinnate grey - green leaves comprise three, 3-9 lobed leaflets, with the upper stem leaves being smaller and less divided, the basal leaflets are trifoliate.  Bonnet-shaped flowers in various shades of purple, blue, pink and white are 30-40mm (1.2-1.6in) long, stalked and pendent, usually blue or violet in colour for native plants and sometimes rarely white or pink (garden escapes), are composed of petals elongated into curved spurs.  Flowers from May to July.  This species and various hybrids derived from it are popular garden flowers, available in a variety of single and bi-colours, in single and double forms.  The variety  Nora Barlow  has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

They grow in deciduous lowland to highland woods and damp shady places, localised in many parts of Britain and Ireland.  Often cultivated in flower gardens, along with some Siberian and North-American species.  They will usually self-seed freely, but they are quite promiscuous plants that will also hybridise freely.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Columbine - Aquilegia vulgari is eaten or used as an herbal remedy.   In modern herbal medicine it is used as an astringent and diuretic.  The plant is a member of the poisonous Ranunculus family and all parts of the plant, including the seeds, are poisonous if ingested.

Columbine - Aquilegia vulgari, click for a larger image Columbine - Aquilegia vulgari, click for a larger image Columbine - Aquilegia vulgari, click for a larger image
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Photos ©2004

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