A great addition to any gothic garden is the Aquilegia vulgaris var stellata, or Black Barlow Columbine. Black Barlow Columbine not only is black to deep purple, but it also has spiky petals that add to its gothic appearance.
To get the best results with Black Barlow Columbine, grow plants in partial shade, but where it can get sun. Black Barlow does well in average soils and tolerates dry soil conditions, but soil should be well drained, although rich, moist soil is better. This is a flower that does not need to be kept wet all the time. You only need to water it when it is dry for a longer spell.
Plants will do best with a general purpose fertilizer added once or twice a season, and new growth will bloom in the second year. This Columbine is marked by spurless, double flowers and is one of the few with double flowers no spurs. Once the Black Barlow Columbine begins blooming, expect small clusters of flowers.
One of the special qualities of Black Barlow Columbine is that it will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, so it is a good idea to plant in an more open area. They will also attract bees to the spiky plants because they carry a lot of nectar.
Black Barlow grows throughout the entire growing season, about 4 to 6 weeks, and is a perennial, so it will return year after year. Columbine plants will grow up to 36 inches tall. The plants will self seed if you do not do too much deadheading of the blooms.