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AQUILEGIA chrysantha

Image of Aquilegia chrysantha

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

AQUILEGIA chrysantha

Plant Common Name

Golden Columbine

General Description

Heavy blooming and delicate, Colorado or golden columbine is a perennial native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In the late spring to early summer it produces lightly fragrant, intricate lemon yellow flowers with long, curved, back-facing spurs that hold nectar for the butterflies and hummingbirds that visit them. These are subtended by ferny green foliage that looks good early in the season but wanes towards the end of summer.

Plant this fine perennial in rich, evenly moist, well drained soil and full to part sun. It reseeds freely, but not aggressively, and will cross-pollinate with other columbines, so hybrid variations may pop up if given the opportunity. This is an essential plant for the butterfly/hummingbird garden or perennial border.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Texas, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes