Aquilegia Express: Red Columbines
Aquilegia elegantula, western red columbine
The western red columbine occurs in southeastern Utah into southwestern Colorado south into New Mexico and extreme northeastern Arizona.
Aquilegia elegantula ranges in height from 10 to 60 cm. The foliage is green and the leaves are green, glabrous above, glaucous, and glabrous below. The flowers nod and are the narrowest of the red columbines. The sepals are yellowish green at the tips becoming red towards their base, 7 to 10 mm long and straight to barely spreading. The blades are yellow, 6 to 8 mm long. The spurs are red, straight, 16 to 24 mm long, and broad at the base, abruptly narrow in the middle and bulging at the tip. The stamens extend beyond the blades.
Aquilegia elegantula is found growing in moist coniferous forests and along streams.