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Aquilegia chrysantha var. chaplinei (Chaplin's yellow columbine)
Northington, David K.

Aquilegia chrysantha var. chaplinei

Aquilegia chrysantha A. Gray var. chaplinei (Standl. ex Payson) Lott

Chaplin's Yellow Columbine, Chaplin's Golden Columbine, Chaplin's Columbine, Chapline Columbine, Guadalupe Mountain Columbine

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Aquilegia chaplinei


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A rare yellow-flowered columbine native to moist canyons in the Guadalupe and Sacramento Mountains of west Texas and southern New Mexico, Chaplin's columbine is currently considered a variety of Aquilegia chrysantha. It shares most of the physical characteristics of its species but is distinguished by sepals no more than two centimeters long and flower spurs no more than four centimeters long. Its leaves may be either triternate or biternate but are usually triternate.

The genus name "Aquilegia" comes from the Latin "aquila" which means "eagle" and refers to the spurred petals that many believe resemble an eagle's talons.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Shape: Obovate
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Cleft
Leaf Texture: Smooth
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Glaucous green
Flower: Sepals no more than 2 cm long
Fruit: Green to dark grey follicles, black seeds 18-22 mm follicles, 2 mm seeds

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


Native Distribution: The Guadalupe and Sacramento Mountains of west Texas and southern New Mexico
Native Habitat: Moist canyons, especially near seeps, streams, and waterfalls and in rich woodlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained calcareous soil, often rocky
Conditions Comments: Requires good drainage and adequate moisture. Though they tolerate some heat, Southwestern yellow columbines become susceptible to spider mites and aphids in very hot, arid conditions. Do not plant in continuous full sun, as the plant will become stressed and the leaves will fade and curl.


Propagation Material: Clump Division , Seeds
Maintenance: Remove spent foliage during growing season. Keep soil moist but not wet to avoid rotting crowns. Aquilegia species tend to hybridize when grown with other Aquilegia species. To keep this variety pure and true to flower color, keep other Aquilegia species far apart to avoid cross pollination.


Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 1233 - Rare Plants of Texas: A Field Guide (2007) Poole, J. M.; Carr, W. R.; Price, D. M.; Singhurst...

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Aquilegia chrysantha var. chaplinei in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aquilegia chrysantha var. chaplinei in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aquilegia chrysantha var. chaplinei


Record Modified: 2014-09-23
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG

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