Aquilegia chrysantha – Golden Columbine

Aquilegia chrysantha - Golden Columbine, Yellow Columbine

Aquilegia chrysantha - Golden Columbine, Yellow Columbine

Aquilegia chrysantha - Golden Columbine, Yellow Columbine

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Aquilegia chrysantha

Common Names: Golden Columbine, Yellow Columbine

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Mountain, Riparian. This beautiful wildflower grows along shady to partly shady streams and in other moderately moist areas in the mountains. If provided with shade and moist soil, Golden Columbines can be grown as garden plants at lower elevations.

Flower Color: Yellow to golden yellow or greenish yellow

Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer

Height: Up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall, but usually less

Description: The flowers are up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) across and have 5 longer, pale yellow, lanceolate sepals and 5 shorter, oblong petals with slender, evenly tapering, up to 2 1/2 inch (6.4 cm) long, nectar-filled spurs projecting behind them. The leaves are green and divided into 2 (rare) or 3 delicate, round-lobed or toothed leaflets. The stems are green and very slender, giving this plant a light, airy appearance.

The similar Longspur Columbine (Aquilegia longissima) has flowers with spoon-shaped petals and much longer spurs that can be up to 7 inches (18 cm) long.

Special Characteristics

Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbird moths (their main pollinators).

Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family
Genus: Aquilegia L. – columbine
Species: Aquilegia chrysantha A. Gray – golden columbine

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Golden Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha) – The Firefly Forest