Friday, May 11, 2018

The Eagle's Claw

"Aquilegia is a genus of about 60–70 species of perennial plants that are found in meadows, woodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, known for the spurred petals of their flowers." 

I think this one is the official state flower of Colorado.
This is a wild native of states in the mid-Atlantic.

 This technical explanation from Wikipedia fails to capture the spring beauty, variety in both shape and color, and the ease of growing this plant. The name Aquilegia which means eagle at least adds some drama to the flower and was given to them because their petals resemble an eagles claw.  As they have been hybridized their petals are double-flowered and can sometimes resemble a Victorian princess dress.

Others look like stars!

The bumblebee, Bombus hortorum, loves these blossoms in the spring (all colors) and they usually come in from the back and slit open the spur to get the nectar.  There are also moths that come as caterpillars and feast.  

Some gardeners do not like the pattern that leaf miners make as the season progresses, but I have never been bothered and find those patterns lovely, as well.   Most grow between 1 and 2 feet tall and are extremely hardy and reseed a lot but never seem to be an intruder in my flower beds.

All in my garden started with just a couple of seed packs.  Some are like biennials, but if they get too crowded they are easy to thin.  They even grow in pots and come back every year.


  1. A garden beauty for sure. I’ve never seen such varieties.

  2. Obviously you know what you're doing. It looks great.

  3. Those are so pretty! It does my heart good to know you have bees around, we seem to have so few here.

  4. I love how they hybridize themselves and come up wherever they want to. You never know what new colors and shapes you'll get.

  5. Never heard the term "spurred" used in regard to petals before! Thanks for the tour!. I like plants that return on autopilot without taking over.

  6. Very nice, beautiful photos
    Out & about yesterday, I saw wild columbines red and yellow in a rocky outcrop. I was remindedof your pictures.

  7. Love the photos, sometimes they are called 'granny bonnets' you can see why.

  8. You continue to charm me.


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.