Columbine, William Guiness (Organic)
Aquilegia vulgaris. Perennial in zones 3–8.
This old fashioned European columbine has hypnotic, bicolored purple-black and white blooms that reach 2” across. Flowers are held high above foliage and are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. The low growing ferny green foliage also adds an attractive visual texture. Shade tolerant and deer resistant. Harvest for bouquets or deadhead to prolong bloom. Short lived perennial, stems grow 24-30″ tall. Originating from the gardens on the Guinness Family Estate, Ireland. Aka, Magpie, William Guinness.
Needs stratification. Place seeds on a moist paper towel and refrigerate for 3 weeks, then remove to sow indoors 10 weeks before last frost. Or direct sow 1/4” deep in fall or early spring. Germination may be slow and erratic. Thin / transplant to 8”. Plants prefer part shade.
Collect seeds from seed heads that are fully dry. Thresh by hand or by dancing, winnow to clean. Finish air-drying if necessary before sealing in airtight container. Some cross-pollination may occur. Isolate from other varieties of same species by ¼ mile.