Rich in nectar, the flowers are sweet and delightful, they make a very attractive addition to mixed salads and can also be used as a thirst-quenching munch in the garden.
Columbine was formerly employed in herbal medicine mainly for its antiscorbutic effect, but it has fallen out of favour and is little used nowadays.
The seed is used as a parasiticide to rid the hair of lice. The dried and crushed seed is used to kill external body parasites.
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil, preferring a moist but not wet soil and a sunny position. Thrives in partial shade. Intolerant of heavy clay.
It grows well with rhubarb.
Can be sown in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Flowers - raw. Rich in nectar, they are sweet and delightful, they make a very attractive addition to mixed salads and can also be used as a thirst-quenching munch in the garden.
The flowers are also used as a tea substitute.
Caution - although flowers are edible, the rest of the plant is toxic.