Aquilegia - Columbine

The name Aquilegiais derived from the Latin aquila, referring to the talon-like structures or "spurs" on its flowers. The name "columbine", derived from the Latin word for "dove" (columba), was given because someone observed that viewed from below the petals resemble a cluster of doves. So, in one plant genus we have a vision of two very different birds.

If you'd like to grow columbine, you probably can. Of the 60 or so Aquilegia species, 22 are native to North America. One Aquilegia vulgaris, native to Europe, thrives here, too. You'll find columbines in practically every state and province. Among the various species and hybrids, there are columbines cold hardy or heat-tolerant enough to thrive from USDA climate zones 3 to 10.

To learn more, read our article, Aquilegia (Columbine) - The Eagle And The Dove.

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