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AQUILEGIA longissima

Image of Aquilegia longissima

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

AQUILEGIA longissima

Plant Common Name

Columbine, Longspur Columbine

General Description

Named and renowned for its exceptionally long-spurred yellow flowers, this elegant, hardy perennial comes from moist canyons and ravines in uplands of Texas, Arizona, and northern Mexico.

Ferny clumps of lacy, three-parted leaves appear in spring, dying back to a few wisps in summer. In early to midsummer, tall branched stems bear dainty, erect to horizontal flowers with five propeller-shaped petals, a starry collar of five pointed sepals, and five whiskery, spreading, 3- to 7-inch (7- to 18-cm) spurs.

Longspur columbine grows best in evenly moist, well-drained soil and full to partial sun. It can be short-lived but self-sows gently and will naturalize over time. Like most columbines, it hybridizes freely. Deadhead spent flowers immediately if you don’t want new plants to seed in. The leaves of all columbine may be damaged by leaf miners and sawfly larvae.

An ideal subject for Southwest gardens, this lovely perennial also works well in areas far from its native range (such as the Northeast). Hummingbirds and bees are highly attracted to its nectar-rich flowers. After flowering plants offer little to no ornamental interest, so be sure to interplant them with annuals and perennials that look pretty later in the season.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Texas, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    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

    Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes