Plant for the birds... May 26, 2007
Both its common name and its Latin name refer to birds, but not the ones that it attracts. Hummingbirds love this native Ohio nectar producer. Long spurs are the perfect storage containers and suited well to being probed by the hummingbird's elongated, tapered bill.
Columbine, refers to "dove" and its Latin name Aquilegia canadensis, has aquilia or a reference to "eagle". Honestly, I don't get the dove or eagle; maybe due to talon-like spurs?
All I know is the hummingbirds love this little flower and one can be certain the hummingbirds have returned in full-force when this beauty is blooming. They wouldn't want to miss out!
Our native plant species is this striking orange and yellow blossom, but it has been hybridized into a million other colors and shapes. I have to admit I am overly fond of the plain, dark purple as that was the form I first encountered as a child. Whether you are a native plant purist or a generalist flower lover, Columbine should have a spot in your rock garden. The hummingbirds think so too.