Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A rare relative of our state flower

Aquilegia chrysantha var. rydbergiiAquilegia chrysantha var. rydbergii, the golden columbine

CNHP botanists Jill Handwerk and Susan Spackman Panjabi visited Arkansas River Canyon in late June to capture these images of the golden columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha var. rydbergii) in bloom.

Aquilegia chrysantha var. rydbergiiThe golden columbine is a critically imperiled (S1) species in Colorado, though the aphids don't seem to care.

In the same genus as the more common Colorado columbine (Aquilegia coerulea), this species is the only all-yellow flowered columbine on the eastern slope of Colorado. Although other very closely related varieties of the golden columbine are found from Texas to Utah, this variety is endemic to El Paso and Fremont counties in Colorado.

Aquilegia chrysantha var. rydbergii

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