Denver Plants

Common name: "Rocky Mountain Columbine"
Latin name:
Aquilegia caerulea

Colorado Rocky Mountain Columbine - Aquilegia caerulea
Zone: 3 - 8
Elevation to:
Growth habit:
Clump forming

Max height:
12" - 14"
Spread: 10" - 12"
Flowers: Yes, May - June

Flower type: Racemes
Native to area: Yes, Colorado state flower
Available varieties: 1
Water: Pictured Perennial: Rocky Mountain Columbine - Aquilegia caerulea
Perennial Cultivation: The "Rocky Mountain Columbine" or "Colorado Columbine" was adopted as the Colorado state flower in 1899. This beautiful perennial native plant can be found growing wild throughout the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It is illegal to dig the plants or pick the flowers on public lands. Established Columbine plants are difficult to transplant so you'd be better off buying pre-stared plants.

Plant Rocky Mountain Columbines in full sun to partial shade in fertile, moist well drained soil. Columbines will grow better if planted in an area that is shaded from hot mid day sun. Feed monthly during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer or apply a time release granular feed twice a season. 

Many cultivars of "Columbine" are profuse re-seeders yielding a new crop of volunteers each spring that can be easily transplanted.

The "Rocky Mountain Columbine" can easily be grown from seed. Seed needs to be chilled for three weeks prior to planting in spring. Seed may be planted in fall for following spring growth. Columbine planted from seed will take 2 seasons to mature and flower. 

For much quicker growth purchase pre-started Rocky Mountain Columbine plants at your local Garden Center. Space new container grown plants 10" to 12" apart depending on how quickly you want the area to fill in.

Potential pests ~ diseases:
Aphids or powdery mildew.

Related Articles: How to Grow and Care for Columbines

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