Aquilegia caerulea ColoradoColumbine 4

This  herbaceous perennial is native to the Rocky Mountain states from Montana to Arizona and New Mexico where it grows in rich, moist, well-drained soil   It is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, that also includes clematis, delphinium, and hellebores. Growing up to 2′ tall, the plant has blue-green leaves that are pinnately compound and carried on long petioles. The upright flowers appear from late spring to early summer.  They are 2-3” across and have straight spurs that are 1-2” long and often tipped with green. The flower petals are violet or white while the sepals that stand conspicuously around them are blue or violet. Colorado columbine is less vigorous than some of the other columbines but is longer-lived, lasting 5-6 years in the garden. Long tongued solitary bees, bumble bees, butterflies and syrphid flies are adapted to the medium length nectar spurs and feed on the flowers.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Size: 1-2’ H x 2’ W

Light: Sun to partial shade

Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Beneficial Insects Attracted: Solitary bees, bumblebees, syrphid flies, butterflies

By Karen