Aquilegia Express: Blue Columbines

Aquilegia jonesii, Jones’ columbine

Jones’ columbine occurs from Alberta south through Montana to Wyoming. Jones’ columbine is the smallest of all the columbines.

Aquilegia jonesii
Aquilegia jonesii, Jones’ columbine. Photo by Jennifer Whipple.

Map of the range of Aquilegia jonesii in North America.
Range map of Aquilegia jonesii. Courtesy of Flora of North America.

Aquilegia jonesii is a small cushion forming plant growing to a height of 8 cm. The foliage is densely crowded, glaucous, and often sessile with the stems having no leaves. The flowers are solitary and erect. The sepals are blue to purple, 15 to 22 mm long, and spreading. The blades are blue, 8 to 13 mm long. The spurs are blue, 8 to 15 mm long and straight. The stamens do not extend beyond the blades.

Aquilegia jonesii is found growing in limestone, rocky alpine and subalpine areas.

Aquilegia jonesii plant
As is typical with many alpine wildflowers, Aquilegia jonesii has a cushion plant growth form. The plant is very diminutive but makes up for its small size with its beautiful flowers. Photo by H.M. Hollis.

Aquilegia jonesii habitat
Aquilegia jonesii is found growing in alpine habitats characterized by limestone cobbles, as in this image in the Bighorn mountains. Photo by Jennifer Whipple.

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