smallflower columbine

(Aquilegia brevistyla)

Conservation Status

 

No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Smallflower columbine is a 1 to 3 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a stout taproot and thin, woody rhizomes.

Basal leaves emerge in the early spring on long stems. The leaves are much shorter than the stems. They are divided into groups of 3 leaflets that are up to 3 long and 2 wide. Each leaflet is divided again into 3 triangular or wedge-shaped lobes. The lobes are often themselves divided into 2 or more secondary lobes that resemble large, rounded teeth. The leaflets may be stalked or unstalked, with both types occurring on the same plant. The upper surface of the leaf is hairless and may have a whitish bloom. The lower surface may be finely hairy.

In the late spring stems are produced. The stems are slender, sparingly branched, hollow, and cylindrical. They are covered with soft hairs toward the base.

Stem leaves are alternate and similar to the basal leaves but smaller and on shorter stalks. They become progressively smaller with shorter stalks as they ascend the stem.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower or pair of flowers at the end of a branch.

The flowers are showy and hang downward at the end of a long, erect flower stalk. They are 1 to 2 long and to 1¾ wide. They have 5 petal-like, blue, ¼ to ¾ long sepals, and 5 blue and white petals.

The tips of the petals are white and rounded. The base is a long, slender, blue nectar spur. The spur is erect or slightly-spreading, has a slightly-enlarged tip, and is hooked near the tip. Yellow stamens and styles barely project beyond the petals. There is no fragrance.

The fruits are 5 erect pods, each ¼ to 1 long with a beak less than ¼ long.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

1 to 3

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Blue

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) has larger, red and yellow flowers. The spurs are not hooked at the tip. Stamens and styles project well beyond the petals. It is found throughout the state.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Open woods, meadows, shores.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

Late May to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

3.

 
  12/26/2011      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

This plant has been recorded in the state. However, all specimens from Minnesota seen by Flora of North America have been misidentified.

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Ranunculaceae (buttercup, crowfoot)  
  Subfamily Thalictroideae (columbines and meadow-rues)  
 

Genus

Aquilegia (columbine)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
  Aquilegia canadensis var. hybrida  
       
 

Common Names

 
 

blue columbine

smallflower columbine

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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