Mexican columbine is a clump forming perennial native to Mexico and New Mexico. It is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, that also includes anemone, delphinium, and monkshood. The branching stems carry thin triternate blue-green leaves and nodding flowers with yellow-green spreading sepals and petals with short yellow-orange blades and long straight red spurs. The flowers are 1 ½” long and appear from spring to early summer. Plants easily hybridize and self-seed but do not usually breed true. The genus name, Aquilegia, may come from the Latin word aquila meaning eagle and refers to the spurs that resemble an eagle’s talons.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Nodding flowers 1 ½” long with yellow=green spreading sepals and petals with short yellow-orange blades and long straight red spurs from spring to early summer.
Size: 2-3’ H x 1-1.5’ W
Light: Part shade to full sun
Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 3-7
Care: Deadhead to prolong bloom; remove foliage disfigured by leaf miners.
Pests and Diseases: Leaf minors, aphids, powdery mildew, downy mildew
Propagation: Seed; division
Companion plants:Iris, peony, wild phlox (P. divaricta)whorled sedum (s. ternatum)
‘Flore Pleno (double flowers)
‘Tequila Sunrise’ (brightly colored)