Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Western columbine is a common perennial wildflower in Western North America, frequenting oak woodlands, moist meadows and seeps.  It is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.  The flower color is striking with both red sepals and spurs contrasted with yellow blades hanging downwards. When happy, it can grow to 3 feet, and blooms from late spring through early summer. Hummingbirds love it.

In home gardens, columbine benefits from light shade and summer moisture.  Western columbine will inter-breed freely with other garden columbines. Pull up seedlings with intermediate or odd-colored flowers or remove their flowering stems before they shed seed. 

Contributed by Rachel Foster.

Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)