Subject: Columbines
Date: Jun 2 08:22:22 2003
From: Kelly Cassidy - lostriver at

Lydia, You might have a native, but columbines are commonly cultivated. Cultivated plants come from all over, including many species from the Rocky Mountains. They hybridize in gardens and self seed. I have 2 flower beds dominated by columbines. They are an outrageous mix of colors: red and yellow, blue and yellow, white and yellow, white, mostly pale purple, all yellow, etc.. Trying to trace their origin would be a daunting task. I "inherited" the gardens with the house, so I have no idea what the original plants were. In my garden, they are like weeds. Seedlings come up all over the place.

Columbines are often used in botany classes as the classic example of flower adapted for hummingbird and hovering moth pollinators. Each of the long spurs is a nectar reservoir. The face of the flower points down, so only a hovering pollinator with a long bead or proboscis (tongue) can reach the nectar.

Kelly Cassidy

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