Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Western Red Columbine

Western Red Columbine, Aquilegia formosa is similar to Eastern Red Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. The two species’ ranges meet at the center of the continent. This native wildflower grows across much of the west and is found from coastal to alpine meadows. Erika and I found this columbine at the Woodard Bay Preserve near Olympia on 18 May. Aquilegia refers to the spurs above the petals, which resemble eagle talons. Formosa is Latin for beautiful. The plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Some Native Peoples ate nectar as candy (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center). Just for the record, the second photo, taken near Northfield, Minnesota, is an image of an Eastern Red Columbine.

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