Mid-May In The Perennials

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Throughout the perennial beds, colorful columbines, or Aquilegia, are blooming. These nodding, spurred flowers with their clover-like foliage have always been a favorite of mine. They are hardy and propagate easily. Deep shades of purple and burgundy on shorter stems mingle with softer tones of coral and yellow on taller stems.

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Columbines belong to the species Aquilegia, from the Latin word for eagle; the flower’s five long spurs form a shape similar to an eagle’s claw. The common name “columbine” comes from the Latin for dove; there is a resemblance of the underside of the flower (near the stem) to a cluster of doves. 🙂 I see doves clearly in this pink specimen:

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The names relating to birds are fitting for these sweet flowers that almost look like they’re taking flight. Years ago I thought these were called shooting stars because of their spurs, but shooting stars are a different flower entirely. The abundance of nectar within the aquilegia spurs attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees here at Coppertop.

I’ll be bringing vaseloads of these babies inside to enjoy.  Despite their delicate appearance, aquilegia make superb cut flowers and last much longer in water than most flowers.

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