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Plantidote of the Day 2011-05-18

Kathryn's picture



My second plantidote post and I had no idea what this was; many thanks to Jerz for the id. From Rutgers Gardens, in their shade garden, this is Columbine. A perennial that adapts to most conditions, flourishes in partial shade, zones 3-9 and height varies from small cultivars at 5” and others up to 36”. It has no problem with average soil conditions, and does well in higher elevations.

It does produce toxins, in its roots and seeds, which affect heart function. Columbine is very popular with some nocturnal moths that have developed immunity to the plant’s toxins. There are a number of cultivars available, they self sow via seeds and are very inter-fertile. It does help to deadhead this plant in order to encourage blooms throughout the flowering season (mid-spring to early summer). When grown from seed they will bloom in their second season.

I have no idea which cultivar this particular columbine is. The picture doesn’t do the color justice; it is a sheer pale pink bordering on peach, and the leaves are a velvety Kelly green. Please advise if you have any idea about which Columbine this might be. Thanks!

[edit: I could not decide on which picture to post. This one has more foliage in it.]
Columbine #2

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

PLANTIDOTE GROUP FORMING: Want to help gather images and take Plantidote of the Day to the next level? Of course you do! Just email twig at the address above.

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Submitted by gob on

I'm enjoying mine now -- I filched seed pods from all over the neighborhood last summer, wherever I saw a color I liked, started the seeds in pots on my porch, set them out when they got big enough, and now the blooms are coming, each plant a surprise color. A wonderful way to get flowers for free!

jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

and so easy to grow. They qualify as weeds in my garden. The flowerbeds are so wide, I don't bother to deadhead my plants. So many seeds germinate I have to pull them out. I always keep a few of the new seedlings because there's always the possibility that the new plant has a more interesting flower color.

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

I would love to see, in any of these plantidote threads, any related photos from anyone. I'm heading back to the Gardens to, umm, apply gob's process of strategic acquisition. :-D