What plant is this? It popped up in my garden. It looks like it might be a geranium, but I can't find it in the various lists I browsed.

It's about 50 cm (20") high in total with flowers on stalks, sticking out up to 15 cm (6") The leaves are about 7 cm (3") across and consist of three groups of leaflets. The flower cores are purple with five trumpet-like spurred petals with a white edge. It has sepals, also purple. The flowers have a slightly yellowish heart. Bees seem to love them.

It's beautiful plant, and I want to make sure it's still there next year. :)

PS: Sorry if I got the terminology wrong. I'm not used to describing flowers in detail, and especially not in English.

The plant

1 Answer 1


That's an ornamental Columbine or Aquilegia.

It's a hardy perennial that originates from woodland and meadowy areas. It grows in full sun, but prefers light shade. There is a good chance that it will come back next year and it might even seed itself - look for seedlings with the same 3-part leaves, just en miniature.

  • 2
    Depending on the suitability of the soil to the variety it might seed itself rather aggressively. I love my columbines, but I find I have to clip all but a few seed heads each year to keep them from overrunning the garden.
    – GardenerJ
    May 24, 2015 at 16:00
  • Thank you very much. That's the one. When looking up species of Aquilegia, I found that it's most likely aquilegia vulgaris, which is indeed native to where I live and is locally known as wilde akelei, but it could be a hybrid as well.
    – GolezTrol
    May 24, 2015 at 21:01
  • Almost certainly this is not the "wild" version but some mix - the wild one has less purple, smaller flowers and no white markings, the overall appearance is more "fragile" than yours. White markings on wild varieties are extremely rare. I was lucky to find the wild Akelei once in the Black Forest... But you have a beautiful and very healthy looking specimen in your garden!
    – Stephie
    May 25, 2015 at 5:42

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