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AQUILEGIA laramiensis

Image of Aquilegia laramiensis

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

AQUILEGIA laramiensis

Plant Common Name

Columbine, Laramie Columbine

General Description

Delicate, short-spurred, greenish white flowers cover this compact Native American columbine in summer. A rare alpine species that exists only in the Laramie Mountains, a Wyoming mountain group on the eastern edge of the Rockies, Laramie columbine thrives in moist, rocky crevices along open mountain faces. This is a species of concern, so be sure you obtain plants from reliable vendors offering nursery-grown stock.

Columbines are hardy, clump-forming perennials with thin, delicate leaves that appear in branches of three and have three scalloped lobes. Those of Laramie columbine are gray green and appear in spring to form low, mounded clumps. Intricate, nodding blooms of greenish white are held on short, slender stems. Each flower has short, hollow, nectar-holding spurs that extend backwards. These are flanked by five showy petal-like sepals called tepals. A flush of yellow stamens protrudes from the center of each insect-pollinated bloom. Dry, five-parted capsule fruits called follicles follow. Small black seeds shake down from mature follicles.

Laramie columbine is generally easy to grow and thrives in full to partial sun and porous, rocky soil with good drainage. As with most alpine species, avoid planting in areas where high heat and drought are prevalent. Columbines readily self-sow, so deadhead quickly if you don’t want seedlings appearing here and there. Enjoy this beauty in a rock garden or sunny, raised border.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    8"-14" / 20.3cm - 35.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Western United States, Europe, Russia/Siberia, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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, Container, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes