European Columbine

Aquilegia vulgaris

"Aquilegia vulgaris" is a species of columbine native to Europe. It is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with branched, thinly hairy stems. The leaves are biternate; each leaf has three groups of three leaflets.
Columbine growing in Mt Wilson Gardens  Aquilegia vulgaris,European Columbine


The Latin specific epithet "vulgaris" means "common".
European Columbine - Aquilegia vulgaris Plantentuin, Meise. Aquilegia vulgaris,Belgium,European Columbine,Geotagged,Spring


The plant is a member of the poisonous Ranunculus family and all parts of the plant, including the seeds, are poisonous if ingested. It is possible that inhaling the crushed seeds dust or otherwise absorbing oils from them may cause poisoning or at minimum exhibit symptoms of poisoning.

The acute toxicity test in mice showed that ethanol extract and the main flavonoid compound isocytisoside from the leaves and stems of "Aquilegia vulgaris" can be classified as nontoxic since a dose of 3000 mg/kg did not cause mortality in mice.
European Columbine - Aquilegia vulgaris Seen during a walk in paths from Meerdaelbos, Oud Heverlee, Belgium (May 2019).  Aquilegia vulgaris,Belgium,Geotagged,Spring


In traditional herbalism columbine was considered sacred to Venus; carrying a posy of it was said to arouse the affections of a loved one. Nicholas Culpeper recommended the seeds taken in wine to speed the process of childbirth. In modern herbal medicine it is used as an astringent and diuretic.


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