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From Seed to Splendor: Cultivating Aquilegia yabeana with Expert Tips

Aquilegia yabeana is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Ranunculaceae family, genus Aquilegia. It has a cylindrical root and can grow up to 60 centimeters tall, with branching in the upper part. Several basal leaves with long petioles are present; the leaflets are rhombic-ovate or broadly rhombic, tripartite, with rounded teeth on the margins. […]

Aquilegia yabeana is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Ranunculaceae family, genus Aquilegia. It has a cylindrical root and can grow up to 60 centimeters tall, with branching in the upper part.

Several basal leaves with long petioles are present; the leaflets are rhombic-ovate or broadly rhombic, tripartite, with rounded teeth on the margins. The surfaces are glabrous, while the undersides are sparsely covered with short soft hairs.

Leaves in the middle part of the stem have somewhat longer petioles and are usually twice ternately compound.

There are few flowers in the inflorescence, which are densely covered with short glandular hairs; bracts are tripartite or entire, elongated-oval shaped; the flowers hang downward; sepals are purple, narrow-ovate; petals are purple, and the ovary is densely covered with short glandular hairs.

Aquilegia yabeana

The seeds are black, narrow ovoid-spherical, and flowering occurs from May to June.

It grows on mountain grass slopes or forest edges. North China Columbine is cold-resistant, prefers semi-shade, moist conditions, and well-drained sandy loam soils.

The roots of North China Columbine contain sugars and can be used for making syrup or brewing alcohol. Its oily seeds can be used industrially.

I. Morphological Characteristics

This is a perennial herb with a cylindrical root, about 1.5 centimeters thick. The stem is 40-60 centimeters tall, sparsely covered with short soft hairs and a few glandular hairs, branching in the upper part.

There are several basal leaves with long petioles, which are once or twice ternately compound; the leaf blades are about 10 centimeters wide; the leaflets are rhombic-ovate or broadly rhombic, 2.5-5 centimeters long, 2.5-4 centimeters wide, tripartite, with rounded teeth on the edges.

Aquilegia yabeana

The surfaces are glabrous, while the undersides are sparsely covered with short soft hairs; the leafstalks are 8-25 centimeters long.

The middle part of the stem has leaves with somewhat longer petioles, usually twice ternately compound, reaching 20 centimeters wide; upper leaves are smaller, with short petioles, and are once ternately compound.

The inflorescence has few flowers, densely covered with short glandular hairs; the bracts are tripartite or entire, elongated-oval shaped; the flowers hang downward; sepals are purple, narrow-ovate, (1.6-) 2-2.6 centimeters long, 7-10 millimeters wide; petals are purple, the petal blade is 1.2-1.5 centimeters long, with a rounded top, the spur is 1.7-2 centimeters long, curved inward at the end, and the outside is sparsely covered with short soft hairs; the stamens are up to 1.2 centimeters long, and the staminodes are about 5.5 millimeters long; there are five carpels, and the ovary is densely covered with short glandular hairs.

The follicles are (1.2-) 1.5-2 centimeters long, with a pronounced raised vein network; the seeds are black, narrow ovoid-spherical, about 2 millimeters long. Blooms from May to June.

Aquilegia yabeana

II. Habitat and Origin

It grows on mountain slopes, in gullies, beside streams, and at forest edges. North China Columbine is cold-hardy and prefers semi-shady, moist conditions with well-drained sandy loam soil.

It thrives in a warm temperate semi-humid continental monsoon climate, characterized by distinct seasons and simultaneous periods of heat and rain.

The average annual temperature is 12.8°C, with annual precipitation of 725.7 millimeters, an average annual evaporation rate of 1836.2 millimeters, average annual sunshine of 2654.9 hours, and a frost-free period of 191.3 days.

III. Propagation Method

Direct seeding after harvest: After drying the seeds for 17 days post-harvest, they are soaked for 12 hours in water at 40°C before being sown for germination trials.

Seeds are sown with a topsoil cover of about 0.3 centimeters, followed by a bamboo leaf layer of about 1.5 centimeters or a 75% shade rate reed curtain for shading, with frequent watering to keep the soil moist.

The sowing rate is 860 grams per 666 square meters. Seedlings typically emerge around 15 days after sowing.

IV. Cultivation Techniques

When seedlings develop two true leaves, the shading material is gradually removed. Bamboo leaves used as cover can be retained as they do not hinder seedling emergence and growth and can increase soil fertility.

Frequent watering is essential before the rainy season to maintain soil moisture, and weeds are removed as needed. Eventually, about 360 plants per square meter are retained.

Top-dressing with nitrogen fertilizer is done twice in July, with each application of urea at about 2.25 grams per square meter.

North China Columbine is easily transplanted, whether in gardens, by roadsides, or in nurseries, and has a high survival rate. Whether planted in spring or fall, as long as it is regularly watered to maintain soil moisture, the survival rate can exceed 93%.

V. Principal Value

The tender stems and leaves of North China Columbine are nutritious and edible; its fresh roots can be processed into syrup or used for brewing alcohol; the seed oil can be used as a lubricant for machinery.

Its leaves are elegantly shaped, and its corolla has curved spurs, giving it a unique floral display with a long blooming period, making it an excellent plant for landscaping and ornamental purposes.

North China Columbine is nutritionally rich, containing 17 kinds of amino acids essential for the human body and various nutrients.

Its amino acid content is higher than that of Chinese cabbage, spinach, jujubes, and walnuts. Its protein content is higher than that of Chinese cabbage, jujubes, and walnuts and is similar to that of spinach.

Its carotene content is lower than spinach but higher than Chinese cabbage, jujubes, and walnuts. It is also rich in other nutrients and has the effects of tonifying deficiency, regulating the liver, and alleviating pain.

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Peggie

Peggie

Founder of FlowersLib

Peggie was once a high school mathematics teacher, but she set aside her chalkboard and textbooks to follow her lifelong passion for flowers. After years of dedication and learning, she not only established a thriving flower shop but also founded this blog, “Flowers Library”. If you have any questions or wish to learn more about flowers, feel free to contact Peggie.

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