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Aquilegia eximia (Van houtte's columbine)
Reveal, James L.

Aquilegia eximia

Aquilegia eximia Van Houtte ex Planch.

Van Houtte's Columbine, Serpentine Columbine

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A 2-3 ft. perennial with three-parted, lobed, gray-green leaves and very showy, nodding, spurred, red and yellow flowers.

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.

The flowers attract hummingbirds.


From the Image Gallery

13 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: CA Coast Ranges from Mendocino to Ventura Cos.
Native Habitat: Seeps on serpentine soils

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, serpentine soils.


Description: Easily propagated by seed.
Seed Collection: Seeds may ripen and be shed before the pod has turned brown. If seeds in greenish follicles are black, they are ready to collect. Cut the fruiting stalk and keep in a dry bag for a few days until the seeds shake free.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require no pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: OBL OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Additional resources

USDA: Find Aquilegia eximia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aquilegia eximia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aquilegia eximia


Record Modified: 2019-12-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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