Gerald L. Klingaman
Plant Common Name
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Joseph Rock collected this richly colored columbine in the Szechwan region of China.
Rock's columbine is an airy, herbaceous perennial found in Himalayan woodlands. It has an open habit and elegant look when in bloom with purple stems.
From late spring to summer, its tall purpled stems bear dainty, nodding, burgundy to purple flowers with prominent spurred nectaries and a central cup of short petals edged in white. These are subtended by delicate, ferny, three-parted leaves of soft green to bluish green that diminish by fall.
The rare Rock's columbine grows best in moist, fertile, but well-drained soil and partial shade. It can be short-lived but self-sows gently and will naturalize over time. Deadhead spent flowers immediately if you don’t want new plants to seed in. The leaves of all columbine may be damaged by leaf miners.
Use Rock's columbine in any informal shaded border or rock garden, ensuring it's in more shade in hot desert or windy climates. Hummingbirds and bees are highly attracted to its nectar-rich flowers. After flowering it offers little ornamental interest, so be sure to interplant it with shrubs and perennials that look pretty later in the season.
AHS Heat Zone
8 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 7
Partial Sun, Partial Shade
13"-24" / 33.0cm - 61.0cm
10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Alpine, Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower
Sharp or Has Thorns