19 Oct 2012

Granny Bonnets - Aquilegia

The columbine, or Aquilegia canaensis, is part of the buttercup family and considered to be one of the most popular wildflowers for its beauty, history and various meanings. When found in the wild in the Rocky Mountains, the columbine flower is blue-petaled, while in eastern North America it is red; various colors are grown commercially. Five- or seven-petaled with spur-like flowers, the columbine symbolizes characteristics that range from foolishness to innocence.

Here are some of the meanings I found:


  • Giving a woman a columbine flower is considered bad luck, as they are a symbol of foolishness. Known to have five petals in the wild, the columbine flower was said to relate to foolishness because of its physical resemblance to a jester's five-pronged cap.

Innocence and the Holy Spirit

  • The columbine flower is also symbol of innocence. The fallen spurs of the columbine flower resemble the Virgin Mary's shoes, which were worn on her visits to see Elizabeth. According to legend, Mary's shoes caused the columbine flower to spring up beneath her, symbolizing her innocence. The fallen petals also resembled tiny doves, which are a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and the seven petals of the cultivated columbine flower represent the Holy Spirit's seven gifts.

What better way to spend an afternoon than to sit in my garden drawing Granny Bonnets! I'm quite proud of these ones, they're large vibrant and tall.

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