Published: March 22, 2014
Colorado's state flower is an often overlooked native that performs well in filtered shade, requires little water once established and blooms in spring when flowers are a welcome sight. It prefers well-drained sites, but will adapt to average or compost-enriched soils. These are tough plants with such delicate looking flowers, usually with white centers surrounded by blue, yellow or red petals with long spurs trailing off the back. Dwarf varieties offer smaller flowers on shorter plants; different hybrids offer flower colors from deep violet to burgundy and yellow. Can seed-in to create a meadow look in a shady spot. Can be planted now as they tolerate the last frosts of spring. These plants are deer and rabbit resistant, and will attract hummingbirds to the yard.
Common Name: Columbine
Scientific name: Aquilegia spp.
Height: 12-18 inches
Width: 10-12 inches
Blooms: May-June, colors vary on species or hybrid
Where to plant: Full sun with afternoon shade to full and partial shade
Water requirement: Low to moderate, drought tolerant once established
Preparing the soil: Average soil, prefers well-drained areas
Hardy: Zone 3 (up to 10,000 feet)