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columbine Aquilegia canadensis
Growing from thick roots, the upright, branched stems of columbine may reach two feet in height. This perennial plant has leaves at the base of the plant that are doubly compound, while the leaves on the upper stems are divided and do not have stalks. Flowers are produced in clusters at the stem tip, and a single flower may be two and one-half inches long on a slender stalk. The five petals are projected backwards into five hollow spurs that are red outside and yellow inside. The genus name Aquilegia refers to “eagle,” and the five spurs resemble an eagle’s claws. Columbine grows in rocky woods statewide and flowers from mid-April to July.
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