Fisch. ex DC.
Aquilegia formosa (crimson columbine, western columbine, or (ambiguously) "red columbine") is a common and attractive wildflower native to western North America, from Alaska to Baja California, and eastward to Montana and Wyoming.
The Aquilegia formosa plant grows to 20–80 cm in height, averaging around 60 cm. Flowers, which can be seen from April to August (with some variation between regions), are about 5 cm long and red and yellow in color. Technically, the red or orange spreading outer parts of the flower are sepals, and the yellow inner parts are the true petals. The petals bear spurs that attract the plant's pollinators, the sphinx moths. Hummingbirds are also attracted to it in gardens.
Within its range, the crimson columbine can be found in most kinds of habitat (chaparral, oak woodland, mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest). It is not found on desert floors, nor at altitudes above 3300 metres, and it is absent from the Central Valley of California. It prefers moist locations such as stream banks.
Native American use
- Vizgirdas, Ray S.; Edna M. Rey-Vizgirdas (2006). Wild Plants of the Sierra Nevada. University of Nevada Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-87417-535-6.
- Hunn, Eugene S. (1990). Nch'i-Wana, "The Big River": Mid-Columbia Indians and Their Land. University of Washington Press. p. 351. ISBN 0-295-97119-3.
- "Aquilegia formosa".
Media related to Aquilegia formosa at Wikimedia Commons
- Jepson Manual - Aquilegia formosa
- Images from the CalPhotos archive
- NRCS: USDA Plants Profile; Aquilegia formosa
- USDA #2 - Aquilegia formosa
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