Colorful Columbine

Aquilegia hyb_Columbine_Silverton-CO_LAH_5115Envision a woodland garden, and nodding columbine are one of the first plants that comes to mind. With their intricate shapes and rainbow of colors, columbines are deservedly popular perennials.

The original North American columbine species (Aquilegia viridiflora) crossed the Bering Strait from Eurasia, migrating across the land bridge that once connected the two continents. From there, the plants expanded into new territory, evolving into new species as they moved southward. Now there are columbines adapted to every habitat from cool, high mountain meadows to burning deserts. This diversity is a boon for flower lovers; no matter where you live, there’s a columbine for your garden.