columbine flower meaning

Columbine Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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A beautiful perennial wildflower, the columbine is a hardy flower that will bloom in partial shade or even in a woodland setting. These flowers are small and delicate, but despite their tiny stature, they hold serious depth and meaning. 

The meaning of the flower has varied a bit throughout history, but the beauty of this flower has truly stood the test of time.

What Does Columbine Mean?

The scientific (or Latin) name of columbine is Aquilegia. This name translates roughly to the word “eagle.” The flower is aptly named, since the spurs of the flower resemble the talons of an eagle. As the eagle has, the columbine has adapted to survive in its unique environment.

What Do Columbines Symbolize?

violet columbine

Columbine flowers mean different things to different cultures, with ancient Romans and Greeks attributing the flower to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. 

That meaning is one that has remained consistent over time. Columbines are often viewed as symbols of love and romance, making them a common gift between romantic partners.

Columbine flowers can also symbolize foolishness. Since it’s shaped like a jester’s hat, the flower can have some humorous connotations.

Columbines can also be used to symbolize faith and support, along with the concept of winning. This is why a columbine flower is a great bloom to give to someone who has just won some kind of award or has triumphed in some way.

What Does a Purple Columbine Mean?

Most purple flowers represent nobility, beauty, and royalty—the columbine is no exception. 

What Does a Yellow Columbine Symbolize?

Yellow columbines symbolize success, happiness, and friendship.

What Does a Red Columbine Mean?

Red columbines symbolize passion and love, usually love between romantic partners.

What Does a White Columbine Represent?

White flowers are usually meant to symbolize innocence, purity, and spirituality. They make a great addition to wedding bouquets.

What is the Cultural Significance of a Columbine?

Columbines have held deep cultural and religious meaning for centuries. The flowers are used in the Christian religion to represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact, they are often used to symbolize intellect, piety, and reverence. They can also symbolize the fear of doing wrong in the eyes of God.

In Celtic tradition, the columbine was used to symbolize dreams and visions—they believed that the flowers served as portals to this world. Austrians, on the other hand, believed that columbines symbolize five doves flying in a circle.

The columbine is that state flower of Colorado and is an important species for pollinators like hummingbirds.

What is the Symbolism of a Columbine Tattoo?

Columbine tattoos aren’t the most common selections, but usually, they are chosen by Christians to symbolize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (including knowledge, piety, wisdom, etc). They can also be used to symbolize a general sense of happiness and internal strength. 

When Should You Give Someone a Columbine?

The columbine flower is a great choice to give on occasions such as the welcoming of spring and to give the fortitude to see a project through. These flowers can also be used as symbols of thanks to a friend or coworker. The columbine is also a birth flower that can be given to people who were born in May or early June.

*Photo by imagebrokermicrostock/depositphotos

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