Plant of the moment – Aquilegia canadensis

I love Aquilegia as anyone who reads this blog will know and particularly the ones with long spurs.  I have a new love – Aquilegia canadensis.  It is a real firecracker in the border singing out across the garden.  To be honest, being somewhat forgetful, I wondered what the small orange and yellow flowers shouting out from the gravel border were.  I remembered that I had grown them from seed last year, maybe the year before and I think the seeds came from Special Plants.

I love the two tones of colour so pretty and the long anthers.  A most elegant plant.  I have taken lots of photos to add to my library ready for potential botanical paintings.

Aquilegia canadensis is a North American variety and I think I am right in saying that those with long spurs are generally from the US.  It originates from the rocky areas and therefore will perform well in a rock garden or similar environment.  Interestingly my research has shown that this plant has a number of other names which I think it unusual for a specific variety of Aquilegia:- Rock Bells, Turk’s cap and Cluckies which is really strange.

The other thing that struck me about this Aquilegia are the leaves which have much more defined lobed leaves than my other Aquilegia.  In fact it reminded me of a recent conversation on twitter where someone was trying to identify a plant and questioned if it was an Aquilegia despite the Aquilegia flowers as the leaves were different.  It just shows that we don’t necessarily look at the leaves enough but at the end of the day when you id a plant it is the flower you start with and the leaves come second.

I think this is a wonderful flower and should be grown by more people.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Great choice, Helen. This is my favourite aquilegia – it looked amazing when 100s were in flower at the nursery. D

  2. Ms B says:

    Mmmm, nice. I love aqulegias too but NOT the long spurred ones, at least I don’t want them in my garden. This one is lovely & a very uplifting colour.

  3. Dobby says:

    Aquiegia are a recent discovery for me. I have always known that they are a ‘pretty’ flower, but have only just realised how truly stunning they are. I have been give a lesson by someone who knows on how they naturalise and loose their original colour but they are under instruction to save some of her seedlings for me anyway!

  4. Helen this is our native aquilegia and a fab plant in many different planting areas around my garden. I am so happy to see you profile our native.

  5. Christina says:

    Your Aquilegia has a beautiful pure colour, where are they in your garden Helen? I like all types of aquilegia, Christina

  6. It originates from the rocky areas and therefore will perform well in a rock garden or similar environment.
    Thank you for post..

  7. kate says:

    That is a beauty. I love aquilegias, but I’ve not really explored them – I must!

  8. Anna says:

    I like the windswept shape to the flower – so different to its gently nodding relatives.

  9. Good comment about the leaves. When I see a gorgeous plant that I can’t name, I photograph both flowers and leaves for id later. So many varieties are defined by their leaf shape, a lesson learned the hard way!

  10. hillwards says:

    Ah, she is a beauty indeed. Wonderful long anthers. And great colours. I hope our A. canadensis Tequila Sunrise (also from Special Plants seeds) is as pretty next year…

  11. hillwards says:

    Oops A. skinneri ‘Tequila Sunrise’ that was meant to be. I was still mesmerised by your canadensis! 🙂

  12. hortserv says:

    Aquilegia Canadensis – Native Columbine, is probably one of the simplest of all of the genus, however is one of the nicest simply because it occurs so naturally in many of our wood lands.
    I can remember as a child, walking through the woods behind my home, and coming upon a single plant growing in such a natural way. delicate and special because of it’s general nature…
    Seems as time passed and I grew older, I seldom saw these marvelous little plants growing in the wild, much like Solomon Seal and Lady Slippers..They all seemed to become more rare, more than likely because of changes in the environment and building encroaching on their native habitat…Well, I guess time moves ahead and we seem to lose some of that special ingredient that made our lives so simple and wonderful to remember. A truly lovely plant, and well worth the effort to have in our gardens.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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