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AQUILEGIA rockii

Image of Aquilegia rockii

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

AQUILEGIA rockii

Plant Common Name

Rock's Columbine

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

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.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    13"-24" / 33.0cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Nepal, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Burgundy, Plum

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes