North American Columbines - starting with Aquilegia saximontana

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Here's our columbine of the mountains, Aquilegia flavescens - not so tiny as your little beauties, though!  It occurs in montane woods, and into the lower alpine, where, growing amongst the rocks, it is often somewhat dwarfed.     Some nice colour variations:  

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I really like that flower form, Lori.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Those are absolute beauties Lori! :o  Years ago when scouting around the Wenatchee Mountains of Eastern Washington, I came across a talus slope covered with A. flavescens, in a form similar to the salmon-tinged ones you show as your "color variations" on the left side.  It burned an indelible impression on memory; I wondered why this species is relatively ignored compared to other North American columbines.  The glaucous foliage was compact, the whole plant in flower about 12-14" tall and as wide, with those really plump flowers with gracefully reflexed sepals.

It was said by a friend botanizing with me, that the salmon color forms might represent hybrids with A. formosa.  The Flora of North America site reports the following: "Aquilegia flavescens sometimes forms hybrid swarms with A. formosa var. formosa , which grows at lower elevations through much of its range. Intermediate specimens having pinkish red flowers and petal blades 5-6 mm are occasionally found where these species grow together. The name A. flavescens var. miniana has sometimes been mistakenly applied to these intermediates, but the type of var. miniana is a typical, pink-sepaled plant of A. flavescens".  The altitude range gets up there; 1300-3500 m.

Lori, I've never seen one quite so distinctly red and yellow like your last couple of images, true beauties they are.

The entry in Flora of North America (FNA) for A. flavescens:http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500104...distribution map:http://www.efloras.org/object_page.aspx?object_id=5561&flora_id=1

The USDA and ITIS also accept A. flavescens var. rubicunda from Utah, although that combination and its synonym A. rubicunda are not addressed in FNA.http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_......US Forest Service page on A. flavescens and var. rubicundahttp://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/columbines/aquilegia_flavescens....http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/rareplants/profiles/critically_imperile...

*Footnote:  FNA refers to Aquilegia chrysantha var. miniana, whereas USDA and ITIS spell it Aquilegia flavescens var. miniata  A. Nels. & J.F. Macbr.  Is the entry in FNA an error?  

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
McDonough wrote:

It was said by a friend botanizing with me, that the salmon color forms might represent hybrids with A. formosa.  The Flora of North America site reports the following: "Aquilegia flavescens sometimes forms hybrid swarms with A. formosa var. formosa , which grows at lower elevations through much of its range. Intermediate specimens having pinkish red flowers and petal blades 5-6 mm are occasionally found where these species grow together. The name A. flavescens var. miniana has sometimes been mistakenly applied to these intermediates, but the type of var. miniana is a typical, pink-sepaled plant of A. flavescens".  The altitude range gets up there; 1300-3500 m.

Yes, I've often wondered about that.  Flora of Alberta, in the entry for A. formosa, mentions hybrids with A. flavescens , and that A. formosa occurs at somewhat lower elevations.  The range map shows A. formosa having a rather limited range, farther north than this area. 

Could any of the local experts comment on the likelihood of said hybrids occurring in the mountains west of Calgary?

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I wouldn't mind growing any of these species regardless names! I have tried some of the yellow/orange/red North American species but they haven't been the easiest to satisfy :-[ Don't know what's wrong....

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Booker
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Could someone please suggest a name for this glorious aquilegia (hybrid) seen in Ev Whittemore's beautiful garden in NC?

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus On the moors in Lancashire, U.K. Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Teh long spurs suggest an A. chrysantha hybrid (assuming it is definitely a hybrid).

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Booker
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Thanks Lori ... I presumed it to be a hybrid ... I shall investigate A. chrysantha ... it could well be the species.

Much appreciated.

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus On the moors in Lancashire, U.K. Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

A. longissima is another possibility.

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Merlin
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-24
Lori wrote:

A. longissima is another possibility.

A. longissima would be my call. i grow this species and the picture looks very similar.

Jim Hatchett, Eagle Idaho USA  Zone 5? 11" average annual precipitation

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