Semiaquilegia ecalcarata - A delicate woodland relative


Semiaquilegia ecalcarata for sale in the nursery


Semi-aquilegia escalarta

A decade ago leafing through the Chiltern seed catalouge I read the description and liked the sound of this delicate cousin of the aquilegia family. I can remember when it germinated and those delicate little butterfly leaves came out followed by nodding flowers in a shade of dusky plum,  I was instantly besotted. And every year when I grow them I love seeing those leaves develop, especially when on stage beside your showstopper aquilegias with they're big blousy flowers and chunky leaves, semiaquilegia are like Cinders beside them.

Shorter and more delicate in every way they have nodding purple flowers and tinge of the same maroon to the edges of they're ginko shaped leaves. Once established they have masses of the flowers hovering well above the foliage on well branched delicate stems.

Perfect in a woodland garden due to its naturalistic form and ability to grow in partial shade. It hails from mossy woodlands in China and can self seed well if its happy. Although I have sold it for many years it was only this spring (2019) that I first managed to plant them in the garden. They are near the entrance to the old garden by the blue arch, we will see how they like it there.


Genus: Semiaquilegia
Origin: Western China
Care: moist but well drained
Hardiness: fully hardy
Height: 20cm
Season: Spring flowering
Light: shade or partial shade