Aquilegia chrysantha

Aquilegia chrysantha

Aquilegia chrysantha is one of the easiest species of these herbaceous perennials that I have found to grow. It is tall (up to 90cm in bloom) and vigorous and the plants last quite a few years - other species and hybrids seem to fade away after just a couple of years. Unlike many other species which come from Europe or the Himalayas, this one hails from Southern USA and North Mexico, which may explain why it does well in our gardens here. It has attractive fern-like foliage. The beautiful yellow flowers may vary in richness, but they are all gorgeous. I have found this species self-seeds prodigiously. It is easy to dig up the baby seedlings and pot them on to give away, as everyone who sees this plant wants one. To limit the self-seeding, dead-head regularly: this will also prolong the blooming period.

Aquilegia chrysantha (left) with Canna striata and Salvia elegans Golden Delicious (far right)

Like most of the genus, they like a reasonable soil and flower best in sun. The blooms appear in October and continue through November. They have an airy grace that allows them to be at home in any planting. I have mine growing in quite a semi-tropically themed area, but they fit in quite well. I enjoy seeing them partnered with the yellow-veined leaves of Canna 'Striata' which unfurl as the Aquilegia begins to bloom.

Flowers in October, November.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.