COLUMBINE [Aqueligia vulgaris ]

Columbine is a perennial common throughout Europe.

“The variety of the colors of these flowers are very much, for some are wholly white, some of a blue or violet color, others a bluish, of flesh color, or deep or pale red, or of a dead purple, or dead murrey color, as Nature listeth to show.”— John Parkinson (1567 – 1650)

A fourteenth-century manuscript recommended columbine drunk with ale to destroy the pestilence and drive out poisons, and Pseudo-Apuleius claimed that, “if anyone have with him this herb...he will not be barked at by dogs.”

The blossoms of the columbine have horn shaped nectaries, which recall the common symbol for cuckoldry. Ophelia gives her columbines to the adulterous king.

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