Fan Columbine

Japanese Fan Columbine;
aka, White Dwarf Columbine

"There are the flowers
which mourning Herakles
Strewed on the tomb
of Hylas, columbine,
Its white doves all
a-flutter where the breeze."

-Oscar Wilde


White-flowering Aquilegia flabellata var. pumilla is sometimes offered as 'Pumila Alba.' The dwarf form is called 'Nana Alba,' or White Dwarf.

This Asian species forms a six or eight inch tall clump of fat deeply cut leaves, occasionally clumping to a full foot. The glaucus blue-green or grey-green leaves evoke the common name "Japanese Fan Columbine," the leaves evoking a geisha's fan.

Fan ColumbineIt is extremely hardy & can be grown even so far north as USDA zone two, or three to eight more certainly. Not terribly heat hardy, it won't tolerate full sun in zone nine, but does prefer full sun in the north.

We planted it at the part shade/part sun margin of a garden underneath the paperbark maple amidst other very small ground-covering bright-shade flowers of about the same height, including wood anemones & anemonellas & a bit further into the shade, hepaticas, all having low growth habit & gorgeous flowers & leaves.

The nodding flowers of the dwarf Japanese Fan Columbine are pure white with a waxy sheen. The mid-April photo at top shows the handsome leaves & fat buds which will open into roundish spurred flowers by month's end.

The second photo shows it in May flower. Blooms persist through the majority of summer, taking over for when the wood anemones & amenonellas are going into summer dormance.

It may die out of the garden after a few years unless permitted to self-seed.

Continue to:
Columbine clematiflora 'Green Apples'


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