Colorado Columbine Facts
- This rather gorgeous plant bears the somewhat deceptive common name of Colorado Columbine. Its endemic range rates as highly restricted but does extend to regions other than just Colorado.
- The distinctive and delicate-seeming beauty of the plant has led to its becoming rather popular as an ornamental species. Also adding to that popularity is the fact that a total of five varieties exist.
- 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 include habitat loss and climate change.
Colorado Columbine Physical Description
Firstly, the deceptively named, but remarkable Colorado Columbine classifies as a herbaceous perennial plant. It therefore reappears season after season, despite its seeming fragility.
But, individual plants commonly vary greatly in size, however. This usually occurs as a result of variations in local growing conditions. At maximum, though, the species attains a height of about 24 in (60 cm).
Rather unusually for this type of flower, the color of the blooms varies widely among different individuals. These colors include pale blue, light yellow or pink, and even pure white. Furthermore, each flower 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
Most notably, the truly lovely Colorado Columbine appears to have always had a highly specific range. Current research indicates that the plant evolved as solely endemic to the Rocky Mountains of North America.
Furthermore, even there it does not appear widespread. That’s because, within that range, it only appears in 9 states. However, inside that same range it frequently inhabits several different habitat types.
These most commonly include local alpine regions and the foothills. In addition, the fascinating species sometimes appears at high altitudes. This occasionally reaches heights of as much as 12,100 ft (3,700 m).
Also, it typically thrives in a variety of regions, including meadows, open forests, talus slopes