Aquilegia vulgaris

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaRanunculaceaeAquilegiaAquilegia vulgaris


Native populations of this perennial are found on calcareous soil over limestone rocks in England and Wales. It typically grows in woodland glades and open scrub, by woodland rides and streamsides, in damp grassland and fen, and on scree slopes. Garden escapes can be naturalised in quarries, on roadsides, railway banks and old walls. 0-470 m (Sandbed Gill, Cumberland).



World Distribution

European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15

Annual Precipitation (mm): 986

Life form information

Height (cm): 100

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1504

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 197

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 5

Atlas Change Index: 1.7

Weighted Changed Factor: 50

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (25c)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1989)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.