Throughout the mountain west different species of columbine can be found in colors ranging from red (A. formosa) yellow (A. chrysantha) and pale blue (A. caerulea). Here in Oregon our native species is Aquilegia formosa.
For some Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples this plant has special properties and is thought to bring good luck. The plants in our garden have certainly brought us good luck in the form of regular visits from Rufous hummingbirds who use their long tongues to extract the sweet nectar in the base of the flower spur.
The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin “Aquila” meaning “eagle” as the flowers resemble eagle talons.