Roman Bronze

'Roman Bronze'

"A modest flower-bed thickly sown
With sweet alyssum & columbine
Made those who saw it at once divine
The touch of some other hand than his own."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


This clumping perennial is typically offered with no species indicated, but as Aquilegia x hybrida 'Roman Bronze,' & as a member of the "Vervaeneana Group."

The full hybrid history of 'Roman Bronze' must not have been revealed by Ray Brown, a giant among columbine hybridizers, who developed 'Roman Bronze' at Plant World Botanic Gardens and Plant Centre. But some catalogs identify it as being partly A. rockii from Tibet, & A. vulgaris vervaeneana from which the famous Woodside Gold series was developed. 'Roman Bronze' has been additionally rumored to have crossed with Semiaquilegia adoxoides.

As with the Woodside Gold series, 'Roman Bronze' is valued especially for its foliage. It begins to return from winter die-back as early as February. Through March leaves emerge yellow. As spring takes hold, the leaves darken to coppery red or bronze-orange. But by the time flowers arrive, the leaves are close to the normal green of most columbines.

Honey-scented flowers begin about mid-May & are most vibrant for June & July. They are dark mat-violet, with yellow stamins. An old clump can be very, very flowery.

Our young clump grows in the dappled shade under the Oyama Magnolia. It grows to two feet high in bright shade, & can stand full sun if it has sufficient watering.

Continue to:
Aquilegia coerulea var ochroleuca,
White Rocky Mountain columbine


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