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U.S. Forest Service

Aquilegia Express: Yellow Columbines

Aquilegia longissima, Longspur Columbine

The longspur columbine is endemic to areas in southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico.

Aquilegia longissima flower A narrow endemic, Aquilegia longissima, flowers are somewhat pale yellow but with dramatically long spurs, 10-15 cm long. Photo by Gary Monroe.

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

Aquilegia longissima ranges in height 25-90 cm. Foliage is glabrous or sometimes pilose. Basal leaves 3×-ternately compound, 20-45 cm, usually shorter than stems. Leaflets are green adaxially, to 20-40 mm. The flowers are erect. The sepals are perpendicular to floral axis, pale yellow, lanceolate 25-40 by 6-11 mm, apex narrowly acute or acuminate. Petals spurs are pale yellow, straight, more or less parallel, 72-180 mm, very slender, evenly tapered from base; blades are pale yellow, spatulate, 15-30 by 7-11 mm; stamens are 20-33 mm; follicles are 24-31 mm; the beak is 16-26 mm.

Aquilegia longissima is found growing near streams or in damp rocky places in canyons.

Conservation Concern

Aquilegia longissima is a narrow endemic and is ranked G3, vulnerable by NatureServe.

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