Aquilegia bertolonii (Bertoloni Columbine)

Scientific Name

Aquilegia bertolonii Schott

Common Names

Bertoloni Columbine, Apennines Columbine


Aquilegia pyrenaica subsp. bertolonii, Aquilegia pyrenaica var. bertolonii, Aquilegia reuteri

Scientific Classification

Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Isopyroideae
Tribe: Isopyreae
Subtribe: Isopyrinae
Genus: Aquilegia


Color: Blue-purple
Bloom Time: Early summer


Aquilegia bertolonii is an alpine herbaceous perennial, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, with much divided, basal leaves and erect stems. In early summer, each stem produces up to 4 spurred, blue-purple flowers.

Aquilegia bertolonii - Bertoloni Columbine
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USDA hardiness zone 6a to 8b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Columbine plants can handle full sun. It's the combination of heat and dry soil they don't like, and mulching will help alleviate that. They will self-sow, but new plants can be lost if the summer gets too hot. Also, plants tend to be short-lived, fading out within three years. Hedge your bets and save some seeds to sow in the fall or falling spring. Keep in mind that Columbine varieties readily cross-pollinate. If you plant more than one variety, be prepared to see new colors and combinations. If self-sowing becomes a nuisance, shear the plants back in mid-summer, to prevent seed pods from forming.

You can start Columbine from seed or plant. Seeds can be direct sown throughout spring. The seeds need light to germinate, so simply press them on the soil surface and barely cover with soil. Since Columbine is a perennial, it will take two years from planting seeds for them to bloom. See more at How to Grow and Care for Columbine.


Native to southern France and Italy.


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