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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Aquilegia formosa Fisch. ex DC.
Western columbine, Crimson columbine, Scarlet columbine, Red columbine
Synonyms: Aquilegia formosa var. truncata
USDA Symbol: AQFO
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
An open-branched, 2-3 ft. perennial with delicate, blue-green, lobed foliage and pendent, yellow and red, spurred flowers. Handsome red and yellow flowers hang at ends of branches above this bushy plant with several stems and many divided leaves. The flowers of this species are slightly smaller than those of A. eximia.
The genus name Aquilegia comes from the Latin aquila which means eagle and refers to the spurred petals that many believe resemble an eagles talons. The species name formosa, Latin for beautiful, aptly describes this large plant, especially when it has hundreds of lovely flowers nodding over it. There are other species with mostly red flowers, which also attract hummingbirds as pollinators. The nectar was eaten as a candy by the Gitxsan and Wetsuweten peoples.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
AK , CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
N. Baja CA to UT, n. to s. AK & w. Alt. Native Habitat:
Moist, open woods, banks & seeps; 4000-9000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, rocky soils, but will grow in dry, nutrient poor soil.
Conditions Comments: This columbine readily maintains itself from seed.
Columbine attracts hummingbirds. Use Food:
was eaten as a candy by the Gitxsan and Wetsuweten peoples. The young leaves of variety truncata
were gathered before flowering, boiled, and eaten as greens by indigenous peoples of California. Conspicuous Flowers:
Easily propagated by seed. Seedlings around parent plant appear in summer and can be moved the following spring. Seed Collection:
Seeds may ripen and be shed before the pod
has turned brown. If seeds in greenish follicles are black, they are ready to collect. Cut the fruiting stalk and keep in a dry bag for a few days until the seeds shake free. Seed Treatment:
Seeds require no pretreatment. Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Alternative names for Aquilegia Sanguinaria
May 03, 2006
I am looking for the common name for a flower called Aquilegia Sanguinaria. Can you help? Does this even exist?
view the full question and answer
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Record Modified: 2013-04-04
Research By: TWC Staff