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Aquilegia L.


KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderRanunculalesBasal (evolved earlier) eudicots, also called “true dicots”
FamilyRanunculaceaeButtercup family
GenusAquilegiaFrom Latin aquila, or “eagle,” for the flower’s resemblence to an eagle’s claw

About plant names...

Aquilegia is the genus containing columbines, of which there are about 70 naturally occurring species. Aquila, Italian for "eagle," refers to the talon-shaped spurs on the flower petals. Columbines are members of the Ranunculaceae, or buttercup, family.

Online References:

Wikipedia (Aquilegia)

The USDA Plants Database (Aquilegia)

Columbines are popular among gardeners, and there are many cultivars available.


Aquilegia L. (columbine)

Columbine (Aquilegia) · Natural hybrids? · 6/2/2009 · Zion National Park, Utah · ≈ 4 × 2½″ (10 × 7 cm) Species not yet identified

Some members of Aquilegia:

Aquilegia alpina

Aquilegia canadensis

Aquilegia chrysantha var. chrysantha
Common Name

alpine columbine

red columbine

golden columbine
Plant   Plants are 1-2½′ (30-76 cm) high, with red to green stems.  


By Juan José Sánchez, taken at Lac Forchou, Belledone, Isere, Francia.


Light pink to deep red, with yellow. 1½-2″ (3.8-5 cm) long. With five spurs on the back.


Yellow flowers 2-3″ (5-7.6 cm) long
Leaves   Divided into progressively smaller groups of three, up to 3″ (7.6 cm) long.  
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 4a-7b

USDA Zones: 3-8

Habitats   Rocky ledges, rocky slopes, low woods, bogs, meadows.  
Type Wild Wild Wild




Aquilegia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.

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