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This is the only Aquilegia sp. (Columbine) that is native to Illinois. Other species in this genus occur in the Western states. The flowers of Wild Columbine are colorful and attractive, and the foliage is attractive as well. The cultivated Columbines that are sold by nurseries usually have Aquilegia vulgaris (European Columbine) as one or both of the parents. European Columbine rarely escapes from cultivation. It can be distinguished from Wild Columbine by spreading nectar spurs and weakly exerted stamens. While the flowers of Wild Columbine are always some shade of red, the flowers of cultivated Columbines are often other colors, including pink and blue.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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