Aquilegia coerulea (Colorado Blue Columbine)

Scientific Name

Aquilegia coerulea E. James

Common Names

Colorado Blue Columbine, Rocky Mountain Columbine, Colorado Columbine, Blue Columbine


Aquilegia caerulea

Scientific Classification

Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Isopyroideae
Tribe: Isopyreae
Subtribe: Isopyrinae
Genus: Aquilegia


Color: Blue, white, cream, and sometimes pinkish white.
Bloom Time: Spring and early summer


Aquilegia caerulea is the state flower of Colorado. It is a bushy, clump-forming perennial that grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide. Flowers are very variable in color, from pale blue to white, cream, and sometimes pinkish white. Very commonly, the flowers are bicolored.

Aquilegia coerulea (Colorado Blue Columbine)


USDA hardiness zone 3a to 8b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Columbine plants can handle full sun. The combination of heat and dry soil they don't like, and mulching will help alleviate that. They will self-sow, but new plants can be lost if the summer gets too hot. Also, plants tend to be short-lived, fading out within three years. Hedge your bets and save some seed to sow in the fall or falling spring.

Keep in mind that Columbine varieties readily cross-pollinate. If you plant more than one variety, be prepared to see new colors and combinations. If self-sowing becomes a nuisance, shear the plants back in mid-summer to prevent seed pods from forming. You can start Columbine from seed or plant. Seeds can be direct sown throughout spring. The seeds need light to germinate, so simply press them on the soil surface and barely cover them with soil. Since Columbine is a perennial, it will take two years from planting the seed for them to bloom. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Columbine.


Native to the Rocky Mountains from Montana south to New Mexico and west to Idaho and Arizona.


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