My Columbines just begun to flower. I love them because their unusual flowers that come in variety of colours. They tolerate any well-drained soil, but prefer slight shade. They mix well with most of the plants in the garden and are beloved cottage garden plants. Don't they look like ballerinas?
Columbines happily seed themselves and, if you don't want them to take over your garden, you have to snip off the follicles before they dry and split open to release the seeds. I know it from my own experience. Seedlings quickly run deep tap root that is very hard to remove. Older plants are almost impossible to root out because they will re-grow from root particles left in the ground.
If you want the seed, simply tie a paper bag round the follicle and collect it. They cross pollinate themselves so, the new plants may be surprisingly different from the mother plant - just take a look at these on the pictures of mine!
There is also something dangerous about these beauties. The roots and the seeds are highly poisonous and, if eaten, cause severe stomach and heart conditions.
Although the germination takes sometimes up to three months, I never give up sowing new Aquilegias. I just love them.
In Croatia grows Aquilegia kitaibelii an endemic species that can be found only on mount Velebit. It is also protected species.
A. kitaibelii (image by National Park Paklenica)