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AQUILEGIA desertorum

Image of Aquilegia desertorum

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

AQUILEGIA desertorum

Plant Common Name

Arizona Columbine, Desert Columbine, Eagle's Claw

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The easy to grow Arizona columbine is an airy, herbaceous perennial native to the lower southwestern United States. In its native habitat it's found in rocky outcroppings in the higher mountain elevations, so it's drought tolerant and ideal for woodland-rockery gardens. It has an open habit and elegant look when in bloom.

From late spring to early autumn, its tall branched stems bear dainty, nodding, orange-yellow flowers with prominent spurred nectaries. These are subtended by delicate, ferny, three-parted leaves of soft green to bluish green that diminish by fall.

Arizona columbine grows best in moist, but well-drained soil and partial shade. It can be short-lived but self-sows gently and will naturalize over time. Deadhead spent flowers immediately if you don’t want new plants to seed in. The leaves of all columbine may be damaged by leaf miners.

Plant Arizona columbine in any informal shaded border or rock garden, ensuring it's in full shade in hot desert climates. Hummingbirds and bees are highly attracted to its nectar-rich flowers. After flowering it offers little ornamental interest, so be sure to interplant it with shrubs and perennials that look pretty later in the season.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    20"-24" / 50.8cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    13"-16" / 33.0cm - 40.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Western United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Sea Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Sea Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds, Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes