The red and yellow flowers of the native Columbines rise up on graceful stems from basal clusters of beautiful lacey foliage. Columbines are at home streamside, and in the light shade of a forest garden. The plant can adjust to full sun, or partial shade, and appreciates some additional water in summer. The red and yellow flowers that appear in summer provide nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. The abundant seeds that form within urn-shaped seed capsules in fall are relished by songbirds.
Sticky Columbine (Aquilegia eximia) is sometimes found growing in serpentine soils in the wild. Plants may reach 4′ high and about 2 ‘ wide, with stems are stouter than Western Columbine (A. formosa), and covered with sticky hairs. This Columbine blooms later, in summer rather than spring, and is happiest with more sun, but still appreciates some regular water. Try combining Sticky Columbine with penstemons, Gumplants, Verbenas and sun-loving bunchgrasses.