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U.S. Forest Service

Aquilegia Express: Yellow Columbines

Aquilegia barnebyi, oil shale columbine

The oil shale columbine is an endemic of the oil shales of northeastern Utah ranging into northwestern Colorado.

Aquilegia barnebyi Aquilegia barnebyi. Glenwood CaƱon, White River National Forest, Garfield County, Colorado. Photo by Barry Johnston.

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

Aquilegia barnebyi ranges in height from 30 to 80 cm. The foliage is glaucous (covered with a whitish or bluish waxy coating) and the leaves are glabrous (smooth). The flowers are erect or nodding. The sepals pale pink to pink, 10 t0 15 mm long and spreading. The blades are pale yellow, cream, or pink, 6 to 10 mm long. The spurs are pink and straight, 20 to 25 mm long. The stamens extend beyond the blade.

Aquilegia barnebyi is founding growing in hanging gardens, and moisture seeps on cliffs.

Aquilegia barnebyi occurring as a hanging garden. Aquilegia barnebyi occurring as a hanging garden in a seep spring in Firewater Canyon. Photo by Jennifer Whipple.

Typical rock and seep spring habitat. Typical rock and seep spring habitat for Aquilegia barnebyi. Photo by Jennifer Whipple.

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