Aquilegia, also known as Columbine and Granny’s Bonnet, is a perennial which flowers in spring. The blooms are striking – a spurred bell-shaped flower made up of five petals that spread out from the base surrounding five larger sepals. The petals and sepals are often of different colours and the blooms overall range in colour from various shades of light blue, pink, purple, red, white and yellow. The flowers grow on long stalks above green foliage which looks like giant maidenhair fern. They come into bloom in late spring and are a bright and cheerful successor to the now spent spring bulbs. Deadheading will encourage more blooms as the season progresses; mine bloom well into summer. Aquilegia grow well in full sun to dappled shade. Mine are planted near the apricot tree, so they get the benefit of afternoon shade.
It is an introduced plant in Australia, being native to the northern hemisphere. Due to its ability to self sow, it can be invasive but is not a major problem at present.