Columbine Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More

Last Updated on October 4, 2023

The columbine flower, also known as Aquilegia, is a low-maintenance perennial plant that’s known for its distinctive blooms and attractive foliage. 

This herbaceous perennial comes in an exquisite array of colors, from muted pastels to bold, vibrant tones. These spring flower plants are native to Britain, and their unstable distribution makes them a relatively uncommon find in the wild. 


The columbine flower is an intriguing plant with a fascinating history and abundant symbolic meanings. Are you itching to know more? Stick with us to learn more about this flower, including its facts, uses, symbolic meanings, and more. 

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What Does The Columbine Flower Mean?

The meaning of the columbine flower varies between cultures. However, the plant usually associates with the following things:


The columbine closely associates with love. The ancient Greeks and Romans often associated this plant with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The pink columbine also symbolize platonic love. 

Faith And Support

The columbine has also been symbol of faith. It can represent hope, faith, and support in trying times. If you know someone going through a challenging time, it can be a reminder to persevere and let them know you’re there for them. 


The columbine flower can also represent success. This is especially true of purple columbines. Purple flowers symbolize success, wealth, and even royalty.

If you’re celebrating an achievement or want to increase your chances of success, surrounding yourself with this flower is a good omen. 

Etymological Meaning Of The Columbine Flower

Keen to learn more about the columbine flower? Let’s take a closer look at the etymological meanings of the columbine. 

“Columbine” became a popular name for a garden flower in the 13th century. The word came from the old french word “columbine” and from the Medieval Latin “columbina”. This is derived from the Late Latin columbina “verbena” which literally means “dove-like.” The inverted parts of this flower represent a cluster of five doves

Symbolism Of The Columbine Flower

The symbolism of the columbine flower can vary between specific variety and color. Let’s look at the most common symbolic meanings of this flower. 


The columbine flower is formidable. In the Rocky Mountains, the columbine can grow at heights of up to 9,000 feet. However, there are few plants that can grow at such high elevations. This plant reminds us to have high aspirations and do everything in our power to achieve them. 


As we’ve learned, the columbine is an incredibly tenacious plant. In fact, this plant is so hardy that it seems to overcome any obstacle in its path naturally. For this reason, it is symbolic of endurance.

Not only can it overcome all challenges, but it does so with grace and beauty. It never loses its determination to succeed, and it always inspires others with its strength. 

Good Luck

The columbine plant has gold stamens and pistils in its center. These are reminiscent of the gold in the Rocky Mountains, one of the plant’s native areas, during the gold rush.

For this reason, the columbine flower has also become a symbol of good luck and fortune.


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If you’re familiar with tarot cards, you’ll know that the columbine flower often represents the Fool card in most decks. Some historians have said that it associates with foolishness because of the flower’s shape, which is similar to the court jester’s hat. 

However, in most depictions of the Fool card, the fool is always protected. Most often, by a little dog at his side. Therefore, the columbine has become symbolic of risk-taking and the ‘thrill seeker’ type personality. 

Columbine Flower Color Meanings

If you’ve ever seen a columbine flower, you’ll know that this flower can come in a variety of colors. Each color has different associations, shaping how we interpret each columbine. So let’s take a look at the most common colors of the flower and how these shape its meaning. 


Purple associates with success, royalty, and wealth. This flower is an excellent way to signify your own power or victories in life. 


The blue columbine encourage peacefulness and tranquility. This plant is an excellent way to promote healing or recovery or send well wishes to someone who needs it. 


Red has long associated with passion and romantic love. This color can also symbolize strength and intense emotion. It’s a powerful way to express your emotions to someone else or even yourself. 


Yellow embodies strong, positive emotions such as joy and hope. If you want to spread positivity and hope to others in your life, or you need a burst of energy to spruce up your living space, the yellow columbine is the perfect plant to do this with. 


The color pink represents grace, youth, and specifically platonic love. If you’re looking for a new way to let your close friends know you care, give them a pink columbine. This unique gift is a powerful way to spread love to those you care about. 


Orange is a bold, upbeat color. The orange columbine is filled with warm connotations, positive energy, and joy. Like the yellow columbine, this flower is a great way to express gratitude, hope, and positivity in your life.  

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White is a peaceful, serene color. For many years, white has associated with purity and cleanliness. The white columbine is an elegant, delicate flower that people often give as a gift to celebrate weddings, anniversaries, or even to console those in grief.

If you don’t want to send a specific message, the white columbine is a great, neutral plant to send. 


Meaningful Botanical Characteristics Of The Columbine Flower

The columbine flower, or Aquilegia, is in the same family as the buttercup. This flower is also known as the Rocky Mountain columbine, Granny’s nightcap, or European columbine. 

Although people usually found it in Britain, it’s also native to Europe, Asia, and North America. These perennial flowers often grow in woodlands and meadows, and they’re some of the most popular garden flowers in the world. 

The columbine comes in various colors, but they’re often bi-colored, too. These plants are also incredibly fragrant, and their distinctive petals are an attractive feature against their delicate green foliage. 

The columbine often blooms in late spring and early summer, and it’s one of the easier flowers to cross-pollinate. If you want to liven up your garden, you can grow it easily from seed and adapt to even the harshest climates. 

The columbine’s tenacity is just one thing that makes this plant so fascinating. It’s adaptable, hardy, and tenacious and can thrive in climate zones three through nine. This has fostered some strong associations with faith, hope, and strength. 

Special Occasions For The Columbine Flower

If you’re looking for a beautiful, unique gift for your loved one, why not consider the columbine? This gorgeous plant is colorful, varied, and comes with a dazzling array of symbolic meanings, making it suitable for almost any special occasion. 

Weddings Or Anniversaries

If you want to put together a stunning bridal bouquet, look no further than the columbine. This flower comes in various colors to complement almost any wedding theme.

If you have an upcoming anniversary and want to express your admiration with a unique gift, the columbine can also be the perfect gift.


The columbine can also be a memorable birthday gift to send your loved one. Even if you’re sending this flower to someone who doesn’t typically like flowers, they’ll fall in love with its bold colors and fragrant scent. 

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Columbine Flower Cultural Significance

The columbine flower has a rich history. It’s appeared in many cultures throughout the world, and as a result, it has developed some significant cultural meanings. So let’s explore some of the most common ones below. 

Ancient Romans And Greeks

To the ancient Romans and Greeks, the spur of the columbine came to symbolize Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and sexual love. People also worshipped Aphrodite as a goddess of war, the sea, and seafaring. 

Celtic Culture

According to the celts, columbine flowers open the door to another world. These flowers were portals and symbolize visions and dreams. 


In Christianity, the columbine or Aquilegia can be found in several paintings of Christ. It also appeared in the artwork of saints and prophets. The tripartite leaves of the columbine have also been used to symbolize the holy trinity in Christianity.  

Columbine Flower Facts

The columbine is one of the most tenacious plants in the world. However, this isn’t the only characteristic we love it for. So let’s learn more about the columbine below. 

  • Columbines are best known for their five-petaled flowers, which have lengthy spurs that extend backward, and their pouches contain nectar.
  • The columbine has 60 or 70 species.
  • These flowers can grow between 38 to 51 centimeters in height. They’re usually grown from seeds. 
  • Although these plants are hardy and adaptable, they prefer shady conditions. 
  • The columbine is highly toxic. If you consume the roots or the seeds, you may fall seriously ill. 

Flower Uses

The columbine flower also has a wide range of practical uses, some of which may surprise you! Let’s look at the most common uses of the columbine flower below. 

Medicinal Uses

The columbine flower has a  surprising range of medicinal uses. The plant’s leaves and stem can be used to make medicine and treat a range of disorders, including gallbladder issues and stomach and intestinal problems.

There is also some suggestion that columbine can help treat scurvy and skin rashes; however, there’s not yet enough evidence to support this. 

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Culinary Purposes

Although parts of the columbine are toxic, this plant is also edible, but only the flowers can be eaten, and consumption of the stems and roots can be fatal.

The flowers can garnish a salad or be placed in an alcoholic beverage for decorative purposes. 

What Is The Symbolism Of A Columbine Flower Tattoo?

You don’t have to be a tattoo enthusiast to know that the columbine isn’t one of the most common tattoo designs out there. However, more and more people opt for a columbine design to express a wide range of symbolic meanings.

So let’s take a closer look at the symbolism behind this flower tattoos below. 


For Christians, the columbine tattoo can be a powerful symbol of faith. It is often used to signify the seven gifts of the holy spirit, and it appears in many paintings with Christ.

It is a diverse plant, so some may choose to have this tattoo in color or simply in black and white. 


If you’re not a Christian but feel a strong pull towards spirituality, this flower can be a powerful design. This tattoo can signify the spiritual seeker within you. If you’re on a path towards spiritual growth or enlightenment, what better way to represent it than with a columbine flower?

Faith And Hope

Not all tattoos need to have a meaning. However, if you want a tattoo with a motivational purpose, this flower may be a perfect choice. These flowers are closely associated with faith, hope, and tenacity.

The columbine flower tattoo can be a reminder to persevere, even when times are tough. But, no matter what obstacles are thrown your way, it can remind you that you’re stronger than you think. 

Final Thoughts

The columbine flower was first discovered in 1820 by hiker Edwin James. Since then, it has developed an array of symbolic meanings, from perseverance and faith to grief and a risky personality type. 

It is one of the most robust plants in the world. Not only can it make a great addition to any home or living space, but it can also double up as a meaningful gift or tattoo choice too.

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