Information on Columbine

Common Name: Columbine
Scientific Name: Aquilegia vulgaris
Irish Name: Colaimbín
Family Group: Ranunculaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Columbine is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Also known as Granny's nightcap, this plant is considered as native in some areas and a garden escape in others.  It is quite poisonous, with violet flowers which are unmistakeable from any other, and sometimes when it is a garden escape its flowers can be pink or white.  The nodding 3-5 cm flowers have 5 petals and 5 petal-like sepals, the petals each having a hook-tipped spur, and they bloom from May to July.  The two-trifoliate leaves are grey-green with rounded leaflets. This plant belongs to the family Ranunculaceae. 

I first identified this as a wildflower in the Burren in 1978.  The photograph of the darker flower was taken in Ballyvaughan in 1982 and the more violet-coloured flower was photographed on Moneen Mountain in 1998.  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

The plant gets its name 'Columbine' from the individual petals' resemblance to the dove.