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Aquilegia pubescens

Aquilegia pubescens Coville

Sierra Columbine, Sierran Columbine

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Similar to other columbines but with larger, erect (not nodding) all yellow flowers, sometimes with a hint of red or pink. A tufted plant with highly divided leaves and large cream flowers tinted with pastel blue, pink, or yellow and tipped upward. Resembles a delicate version of a garden hybrid columbine. Stems are 8-20 in. tall and the three-parted, lobed leaves are pale green.

The pale flowers and long, straight, nectar-filled spurs attract moths as pollinators. Where this species and Crimson Columbine (A. formosa) grow in the same region, cross-pollination between the two may result in hybrid plants.

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


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: C. Sierras
Native Habitat: Rocky places & talus slopes; 9000-12,000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Moist to mesic, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Description: Sow 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: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

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


Record Modified: 2010-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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