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Aquilegia shockleyi

Aquilegia shockleyi
Fourth-year plant
desert columbine

Common name desert columbine
Family ranunculaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z6-10)
Flowers yellow/red
Size 4-8"
Light sun-part shade
From seed germinate at room temperature
Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensmid-June

A columbine native to the Mojave Desert mountains. Its red-and-yellow flowers superficially resemble those of A. canadensis; the foliage is purplish gray-green, with triple-divided leaves. In their second year (the first year they bloomed) our plants were at or below the lower limit of the height range above. One survived to year three (shown below), and got a bit bigger. Then it outdid itself by getting through another season and finally attaining its full potential and height (photo above).

Aquilegia shockleyi
Promisingly budding
desert columbine

While many aquilegias emerge with foliage colors that deviate from plain-Jane green, most of them turn green as the plants settle in for the season. This one, however, keeps its purplish color even after blooming.

Aquilegia shockleyi

Third-year plant, returning bigger and stronger. Just to be sure, I started some new plants from seed, because I like this species well enough to make an effort to maintain it in our garden's inventory.

desert columbine

While the shapes of the lower-growing leaves are similar to those of most other columbines, the stem leaves look a bit different, appearing in threesomes of more elongated shapes, not as deeply (or in some cases, not at all) divided.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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PlantLinks to other web pages about Aquilegia shockleyi

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from NARGS '08/'09 exchange, cold-stored through summer. Baggy 70F (89%G, 13-16d)
  2. Seed from '11 garden. Baggy 70F (100%G, 13-16d)
  3. Seed from '12 garden, cold-stored. Baggy 70F (67%G, 11-20d)
  4. Seed from '13 garden, cold-stored. Baggy 70F (100%G, 13-16d)
  5. Seed from '14 garden, cold-stored. Baggy 70F (42%G, 17-25d)

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