|Columbines | Photo: H. Zell|
With its peculiar shape and eye-catching flowers and beautiful, double triple blade is columbine a popular ornamental plant in gardens, the specimens found in our Swedish forest meadows and roadsides are feral. As a pharmaceutical plant was cultivated already in the Middle Ages in monastery gardens.
The Latin genus name, Aquilegia - of aquila, eagle - likely by the curved spurs, which resembles a bird of prey claws or beak. According to another interpretation the columbine have named it - like many other flowers in blue - were believed to provide crisp vision.
During the Middle Ages columbine as a means to a variety of ailments, and later as an aphrodisiac. It was believed to cure scab in the head by washing the scalp with juice or a decoction of the herb, and in folk medicine has been used as a remedy for lice. Linnaeus says it gave the children aklejafrön against measles and smallpox, but there was no safe cure. The seeds have been found an association from which hydrogen cyanide can be released, and one must therefore discourage the columbine for internal use.
NOTE! Toxic for internal use. Prussic acid!
Occurrence: Wild in the central and southern Europe, especially the lime-rich surface, in Ijusa forests and shrub-rich slopes. In Sweden, only cultivated or, especially in southern and central Sweden, wild.
Appearance: A 60-80 cm tall, perennial herb with a branched, slightly hairy stem. Sheet underneath a blue-green, double triple with wide rounded tabs. Flowers typical, hanging, single petals with a long, curved spur. The color ranges from blue, purple, pink and white. Numerous stamens. Blooms in June-July, after which the flower stalks straighten itself and the numerous seeds are spread by wind shakes baljkapslarna, which splits open on the inside. Earth Tribe short, thick and obliquely downward; the root pålformad. Pleasant fragrance.
Using parts of plants: Seeds, flowers, leaves, roots.
Content Topics: prussic acid (glycosides), fats, enzymes, vitamin C.
Medical action: astringent, antiseptic, sårrenande.
Use: Topical in wound healing.