The official state song of our seventh alphabetical journey through state flowers is “Where the Columbines Grow” and actually they prosper throughout the Rocky Mountain area and especially in their adopted state – Colorado. The Colorado Blue Columbine, Aquilegia corerulia, can be blue and white, lavender, all white, or a combination of all those colors. It has five petals, about 50-100 yellow stamens, and is generally 12 to 24 inches high. It blooms, depending on elevation, from late May to Fall in a variety of habitats.
The word “Columbine” is latin for dove which early botanists saw the outline of doves when viewing the blossom from the side. I have trouble with that depiction but perhaps you can see it. The Latin name Auilegia refers to eagle’s talons which I can see.
The Columbine is easily cultivated in gardens and will self seed, bloom in the second year, and hybridize with any other Columbine varieties nearby. Pollinators include native bees and flies and one reference stated that only the Sphinx Moth can reach the water and nectar in the spurs or talons.
Worldwide there are a hundred Comumbine varieties with most in China, Taiwan, and Russia and several of these are striking.
Russia contributes many Columbine varieties including scarlet and purple.
I am almost dizzy from the heights and climes of Colorado and now we head further East to Connecticut and a wildflower bush that I have successfully grown in Georgia. It has one of the prettiest blooms anywhere and it actually spirals as the bloom unfold in early Spring. What is it?