Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie' in full flower
How to grow Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie' from seed

Aquilegia vulgaris, perhaps better known by its common name of columbine, is a hardy herbaceous perennial native to Europe. The species and the various ornamental hybrids derived from it make for popular garden plants, in fact there are illuminated manuscripts dating back to the 13th century showing Aquilegia hybrids being grown in English gardens.

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie' flower
Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie' flower
Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie' is an upright perennial with divided foliage which is able to reach a height up to 75 cm and a spread of 30 inches.  The with deep maroon-purple flowers are approximately 5 cm across and have an attractive, contrasting white corolla. The blooms also have deep purple spurs which curl at the tips

Be aware that there is some confusion with the name as the Aquilegia vulgaris 'Magpie' is also goes by the cultivar name of 'William Guiness'.

Aquilegia 'Magpie' seeds are very easy to germinate and will do so though the spring, summer and autumn. They will best is a cooler part of the garden under partial or dappled shade. Sprinkle the seeds straight onto the ground and gently rake them in so that the seeds are just covered with a small amount of soil as they need the presence of light to help initiate germination.

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