Aquilegia vulgaris: 2’ high x 18” wide / light shade to deep shade / zone 4
These attractive natives are short-lived perennials, often grown as ornamentals. The young leaves are very nice raw, and the older leaves can be cooked. The flowers make a beautiful addition to salads. They only live three or four years, but they’ll self-seed if they’re happy. Caution: there is some disagreement about whether or not these are safe to eat raw: they belong to the Ranunculacea family, which contains known toxic plants. There are no known reports of poisoning in humans from eating Aquilegia species, and we’ve been decorating our salads with the flowers for years with no ill effects, but have never eaten them in quantity. Eat in moderation and with caution.