Aquilegia chrysantha, commonly known as golden columbine, canary columbine or southwestern yellow columbine, is a bushy, clump-forming perennial that typically grows to 1-3’ (less frequently to 4’) tall. It is native to canyons in damp places from western Texas, southern New Mexico, southern Utah, and Arizona south into northern Mexico (Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon), with a disjunct population in southern Colorado Large bright yellow flowers (each to 3” long) bloom in early spring (March-early May). Each flower (to 3” long) has (a) five petals, with each petal having a short tube in front and a very distinctive, slender, tapered, downward-pointing, backward-projecting, straight to outward-curving spur, and (b) five pointed petaloid sepals which are longer than the blades of the petals but are lighter yellow in color. Flowers have a slight fragrance. Because of its unusually long spurs (to 3”), this species is frequently used as a parent in the hybridization of long-spurred hybrid columbines. Compound palmate basal leaves are mostly 3-ternate. Borders, cottage gardens, open shade gardens or naturalized areas. Also a good selection for a hummingbird garden. Rock gardens. Hardy in zones 3-9.
Growing Instructions for the Columbine
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet. 2. Put the seeds on the soil. 3. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 4. Water the seeds. 5. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. 6. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.