Colorado Columbine Facts
- First of all, this small but quite gorgeous plant bears the somewhat deceptive common name of Colorado Columbine. Unfortunately, its endemic range rates as highly restricted. Nevertheless, despite the name, that range does extend to regions other than just Colorado.
- Furthermore, the distinctive and delicate-seeming beauty of the plant has created an unsurprising development. That’s because it has led to the species becoming very popular as an ornamental plant. Also adding to that popularity comes the fact that a total of five varieties exist.
- Finally, although not on the IUCN Red List, many consider it to be in danger and expect it to appear on such lists soon. Further, as with many species with limited habitat, its principle dangers come as no surprise. These primarily include habitat loss and climate change.
Colorado Columbine Physical Description
Firstly, the deceptively named, but remarkable Colorado Columbine has yet another characteristic to add to its appeal. That holds true due to the fact that the lovely flora classifies as a herbaceous perennial plant. As a result, it therefore reappears season after season, despite its seeming fragility.
But, to the great astonishment of many people, individual specimens commonly vary greatly in size. This usually occurs purely as a result of variations in local growing conditions, however. But, at maximum growth, the fabulous variety of flora attains a height measuring a total of about 24 in (60 cm).
Comparatively unusually for this type of flower, the color of the blooms actually varies widely among different individuals. Yet, some remain predominant. These colors include pale blue, light yellow or pink, and even pure white. Furthermore, each of the flowers often presents as bi-colored.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Ranunculales
- Family: Ranunculaceae
- Genus: Aquilegia
- Species: A. coerulea
Colorado Columbine Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Perhaps most notably of all its amazing qualities is its range. This statement holds true because the truly lovely Colorado Columbine appears to have always had a highly specific range. In fact, current research indicates that the plant evolved as solely endemic to the Rocky Mountains of North America.
Furthermore, even there it does not appear to have ever been particularly widespread. That’s because, within that overall geographical range, the stunning plant only appears in 9 states. However, inside that same range this marvelous Angiosperm frequently inhabits several different habitat types.
Among those habitat types in which the Colorado Columbine appears, these most commonly include local alpine regions and the foothills. In addition, the fascinating species sometimes appears at relatively high altitudes. Further, this occasionally reaches heights of as much as 12,100 ft (3,700 m).
In addition, it typically thrives in a variety of regions, including meadows, open forests, talus slopes