Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
Aquilegia formosa - Western Columbine
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Family Name: Ranunculaceae
Common Names: Western Columbine, Crimson Columbine, Northwest Crimson Columbine, Sitka Columbine
Origin: Native to California
Habitat: Stream banks, seeps, moist places such as rocky slopes or canyons, mixed evergreen forests, along the margins of redwood forests. Below 3300 m elevation.
Life Form and Duration: Perennial Herb, 6-36 inches in height
Comments on overall growth: Erect, leafy, branched stem, terminating in a loose, leafy raceme of showy nodding flowers
Foliage Description: Leaves basal, compound with 2-3 leaflets. Each leaflet 2-4 cm, obovate, with multiple clefts and rounded lobes.
Flower Description: Flowers solitary, hanging, terminal, 5 cm wide. Sepals 5, petal-like, red, ovate-lance shaped, wide spreading to reflexed, 1.5-2.5 cm long, pointed. Petals 5, yellow, 3-5 mm long, scooped-shape extending backwards into a spur. Spurs red, 10-20 mm long, straight rather than incurved. Yellow stamens distinctly protruding from flower center.
Flowering Season: May-August
Fruit Type: Follicle
Fruit Description: Glandular-hairy, 15-30 mm long. Seeds 2 mm long, smooth, shiny, brown to black.
Plant Use: Attracts hummingbirds