AppearanceThe ''Aquilegia formosa'' plant grows to 20–80 cm in height, averaging around 60 cm. Flowers, which can be seen from April to August , are about 5 cm long and red and yellow in color. Technically, the red or orange spreading outer parts of the flower are sepals, and the yellow inner parts are the true petals. The petals bear spurs that attract the plant's pollinators, the sphinx moths. Hummingbirds are also attracted to it in gardens.
The flowers are edible, with a sweet taste—though the seeds can be fatal if eaten, and most parts of the plant contain cyanogenic glycosides.
DistributionWithin its range, the crimson columbine can be found in most kinds of habitat . It is not found on desert floors, nor at altitudes above 3300 metres, and it is absent from the Central Valley of California. It prefers moist locations such as stream banks.
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