Columbine or Granny’s Bonnet is scientifically known as Aquilegia. It is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants. The spurred petals of their flowers are known throughout the Northern Hemisphere in forests, meadows, woodlands and at higher altitudes.
Because of the shape of the flower petals, which are supposed to resemble an eagle’s claw, the genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (Aquila). Due to the inverted flower’s similarity to five doves grouped, the common name columbine originates from the Latin for dove.
Columbine is a hardy perennial that reproduces through seed. It will reach a height of 15 to 20 inches when fully grown. It can grow in full sun but prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It can also handle medium soils and dry soil conditions. Columbine is hardy zone 3 in the United States, thus it doesn’t need to be mulched or protected during the winter. Since the European A. Vulgaris was crossed with other European and North American types, a large range of hybrids is available for the garden. The Aquilegia species are very interfertile and self-sow. Because some types have a short life span, they should be handled as biennials. Seeds or rhizomes can be used to grow Aquilegia.
What do Columbine flowers symbolize?
Columbines can grow at heights as high as 9,000 feet, or almost to the timberline, in the Rocky Mountains. They are representations of aspiration since they can thrive at such great altitudes. The columbine inspires you to keep going and reach for the stars with its pointed, star-like outer petals.
The columbine is a hardy flower that can thrive in a variety of harsh environments. As a result, they are also symbolic of tenacity and endurance. The columbine overcomes every impediment, much as a mountain climber patiently completing an ascent. Despite this, the columbine manages to radiate a delicate beauty despite its ordeals.
The significance of the columbine flower is also linked to taking risks. The columbine is a flower that believes in “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” The columbine is the most symbolic of the Fool card in the tarot. Indeed, some historians believe the columbine’s link with folly stems from its form, which resembles a court jester’s hat.
Colorado’s state flower is the columbine, which grows wild in the Rocky Mountains. Schoolchildren banded together to make the lovely wildflower the state flower. The blue petals of the wildflower reminded them of the clear blue sky above the Rockies, and the white petals of the snow-capped peaks. Furthermore, the gold pistils and stamens in the columbine’s centre reminded them of the gold found in the highlands. As a result, columbines are also considered to be a symbol of good fortune and prosperity.
The columbine, being an alpine flower, is associated with spiritual elevation. The columbine reminds us that there is much more going on in the world than what we see and feel. The columbine’s mantra is “Faith, not Fear.”
Columbine flowers have varied meanings in different civilizations, with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, being associated with the flower by ancient Romans and Greeks. Columbines are frequently associated with love and romance. That connotation has remained constant over time.
For millennia, columbines have held significant cultural and religious significance. Flowers are used to representing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. Indeed, they are frequently used to depict intelligence, piety, and devotion. They can also portray the fear of doing anything wrong in God’s eyes.
The columbine was thought to represent dreams and visions in Celtic mythology, and the blossoms were thought to function as doorways to other worlds. On the other hand, Columbines were thought to represent five doves flying in a circle by Austrians.
The Vikings identified the columbine with the fertility goddess Freya in Nordic mythology. They even believed columbines were aphrodisiacs.
What do various colours of Columbine symbolise?
Spiritual progress and expanded consciousness are among the meanings of lavender and deep purple columbine flowers. They are linked to the seventh chakra, which governs your super-consciousness.
The purple columbine also represents peace – and the sacrifices that must occasionally be made to attain it. Purple is a unique hue because it blends blue’s coolness with red’s warmth. So, a purple columbine is representative of a blending of differences and finding harmony.
Flowers of this colour are popularly used to convey a message of happiness and good fortune. Yellow columbine flowers are commonly associated with lightness, happiness, vitality, and vivaciousness. It is also a symbol of prosperity and friendship.
Columbines appear in a variety of colours, including fiery red and orange. Primal energy, passion, and romance are all represented by these colours. They also represent wealth. Plant red columbines to infuse your life with more passion and vitality, as well as to strengthen the things that make you feel safe. Furthermore, red columbines are a lovely gift for a lover. The red columbines, on the other hand, were associated with anxiety in Victorian culture.
The connotation of the white columbine flowers is purity and innocence. A white columbine, like the purple columbine, represents the desire for spiritual enlightenment. A white columbine flower, much like a white butterfly, also represents angels and messages from loved ones who have passed away. They also add a touch of elegance and femininity.
Interesting facts and characteristics of Columbine flowers
The columbine had certain unfavourable connotations in England during Shakespeare’s time. In general, they represented love’s lack of trustworthiness. According to A Shakespeare Garden, the poet and dramatist George Chapman (1559-1634) claimed that columbines symbolised ingratitude when he wrote: “What’s that — a columbine? No, I don’t have that thankless flower in my garden.”
Furthermore, the poet William Browne (1590 – 1645) thought that columbines signified lost or neglected love: “The columbine is tawny taken, Is thus ascribed to such as are forsaken.”
The columbine was mentioned by Shakespeare in both Hamlet and his comedy Love’s Labor Lost. Even though there are other interpretations, it is widely assumed that the columbine symbolises adultery and infidelity for Shakespeare. Ophelia, who is now believed insane, throws out flowers at court in Hamlet’s Act IV:
“There’s fennel and columbines for you,” Ophelia tells King Claudius.
Ophelia risks her life by bringing these two plants to the king due to their symbolic value. Fennel was a symbol of flattery. However, giving fennel to the king was a sexual jab because it wilted immediately after being picked. Columbines also represented adultery and folly, which was another dig at the king.
The Columbine flower has been prevalent in North America for 40,000 years, per the Forest Service. The columbine flower spread from Asia to the rest of the world.
If you’re wondering how the Columbine flower survives drought conditions, look no further than its long taproots. The roots of the Columbine flower are typically long, making it difficult to transplant.
Columbine is said to have been used as a natural remedy by the Native Americans. They used Columbine-infused tea to heal everything from fever to heart tension to poison ivy pain. Native Americans used the flowers of many columbine species as a seasoning with other leafy greens. They were considered to be exceedingly sweet and harmless if ingested in modest amounts. The plant’s seeds and roots, on the other hand, are exceedingly dangerous and contain cardiogenic chemicals that, when eaten, cause acute gastroenteritis and heart palpitations. Aquilegia root was used as a cure for ulcers by Native Americans in small quantities. However, because of its extreme toxicity, medical usage of this plant is considered dangerous; columbine poisoning can be fatal.
Columbines have played a crucial role in evolutionary research. The Sierra columbine (A. Pubescens) and the red columbine (A. Formosa) have both evolved to a specific pollinator. Visitors to A. Formosa include bees and hummingbirds, while hawkmoths will only visit A. pubescens if they have a choice. Because genetics control flower colour and orientation, such a pollination syndrome ensures reproductive isolation and can lead to speciation. Columbine spurs, which are the elongated petals that hang below the bloom, have developed to their various lengths to attract pollinators to the area where they grow. Some spurs are longer than others, and some are thicker than others!
Aquilegia caerulea is native to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Hiker Edwin James found this species of Columbine flower in 1820. In 1915, the columbine flower was designated as the state flower of Colorado, and its song was designated as the state song. The Rocky Mountain columbine was also voted Colorado’s favourite flower by Colorado schoolchildren in 1891. The Rocky Mountain Columbine received 14,472 votes out of 22,316 total votes cast.
The General Assembly passed a law in 1925 to protect the state flower, which is rare and delicate. The law made it illegal to uproot the flower on state land, and the number of blossoms and buds that can be collected in one day is limited to twenty-five. On private land, columbines may not be picked at all without the permission of the landowner.
The Best time to gift someone Columbine flowers!
The columbine flower is an excellent choice for events such as greeting spring. These flowers could also be given to a friend or coworker as a token of appreciation. The columbine is also a birth flower, appropriate for those born in May or early June. Columbines can also represent faith and support, as well as the idea of victory. And that’s why a columbine flower is a wonderful flower to offer to someone who has recently received an award or achieved success in some way.
Columbines are a symbol of love as well. You can give it to someone you love romantically or otherwise, depending on the colour you choose. The columbine flower is tiny, but it can make a significant difference in someone’s day because all we want is to live with love and hope. If anyone you value is going through a difficult time in their relationship, show them you care about them, love them, and have faith that it will all be fine soon.
Columbines would be an ideal gift for an ambitious friend who has high goals, as they will inspire them and instil confidence and zeal in them. They also show your faith in them and their goals.
Usually, people associate the meaning of the Columbine flower with a person’s character, especially since this flower is also a signifier for foolishness. Columbine flowers are a great gift for someone who enjoys jokes and has a sense of humor. However, be cautious when giving them to avoid sending the wrong message.
Purple is synonymous with nobility, beauty, charm, mystery, and royalty, and the purple Columbine flower embodies these qualities. Because the purple colour is unusual, you should give it to someone who likes to stand out and is exceptional in many ways.
The yellow columbine flower represents joy, success, friendship, positivity, and happy thoughts. If you want to brighten someone’s day by surprising them with a yellow Columbine flower, this is the flower to give them.
As you might expect, the red columbine flower stands for themes such as love, passion, and desire. It is also perfect for expressing your feelings and showing someone that you see them as something more than friends, give them a Columbine flower. This is a bit straightforward, but it’s a nice way to let someone know you like them. The red columbine flower is a small flower with a powerful message of love.
The white columbine flower signifies spirituality, innocence, purity, and faith. It is also elegant and feminine, making it suitable for use in wedding arrangements and bouquets. While the Columbine flower carries its symbolic significance, it also conceals a hidden message that we must decipher if we want to give this flower to someone. Regardless of its size, the Columbine flower is an effective and meaningful flower that has the potential to bring new energy into our lives.