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it is may and Aquilegias are in full flower
What do you need to know about Aquilegias?
Aquilegias belong to a genus of about 70 species of clump-forming perennials from meadows, open woodland, and mountainous areas in the Northern Hemisphere.
They produce basal rosettes of long-stalked, deeply 3-lobed or ternate to 3-ternate, often glaucous, blue-green leaves.
The leaflets are mostly obovate or rounded, wedge-shaped at the bases, and often shallowly or deeply devided into 2 or 3 lobes.
Distinctive, mainly bell-shaped flowers, usually 2.5 - 10cm (1-4inches) long, with colourful tepals and spurred petals, are borne singly or in short panicles on branched, leafy stems.
Aquilegia are effectiv in light woodland or in a herbaceous borders. Most alpine species require sharp drainage and will thrive in a scree bed or alpine house. They prefer cool conditions in summer.
Be careful: Contact with sap may irritate your skin!
Grow in fertile, preferably moist but well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Grow alpine species of Aquilegia in gritty, humus-rich, moist but sharply drained soil in full sun.
Sow seed in containers in a cold frames as soon as they are ripe or sow them in spring. Seeds of alpine species may take up to 2 years to germinate.
All aquilegia self-seed profusely but also hybridize freely.
When they are grown in isolation some cultivars produce a good proportion of true seedlings.
Divide your plants in spring, although they are slow to recover as the rootstocks resent disturbance.
Pests and Diseases
Aquilegia are susceptible to powdery mildew, aphids, leaf miners, sawflies and caterpillars.