Aquilegia formosa

Fischer ex de Candolle

Prodr. 1: 50. 1824.

Illustrated
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.

Stems (15-) 30-100 cm. Basal leaves 2×-ternately compound, 10-40 cm, much shorter than stems; leaflets green adaxially, to 14-68 mm, not viscid (petioles and petiolules viscid in var. hypolasia); primary petiolules 16-95 mm (leaflets not crowded), glabrous or pilose. Flowers nodding to pendent; sepals perpendicular to floral axis, red, elliptic to lanceolate, 10-26 × 4-9 mm, apex broadly acute to acuminate; petals: spurs red, straight, ± parallel, 13-21 mm, stout, abruptly narrowed near middle, blades yellow, oblong, rounded, or obsolete, 0-6 × 4-6 mm; stamens 12-17 mm. Follicles 15-25 (-29) mm; beak 9-12 mm.

Distribution

Alta., B.C., Yukon, Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo., Mexico

Discussion

Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).

The type specimen of Aquilegia formosa var. fosteri S. L. Welsh, described from southwestern Utah, has viscid leaves with short petiolules and crowded leaflets, erect, dark red flowers with slender, evenly tapering spurs, and long (19 mm) stamens. Aside from the red sepals and spurs, it has little in common with A. formosa and its relatives. The crowded leaflets, erect flowers, and evenly tapering spurs are reminiscent of A. scopulorum, and it could be a hybrid involving that species, but it is not clear what the other parent might be. The taxonomy of Aquilegia in southwestern Utah is complex, with six species known and several hybrid combinations apparently formed; satisfactory disposition of this name will require further work in the area.

Native Americans used Aquilegia formosa for various purposes: as a charm to gain the affections of men or to retain wealth and possessions; medicinally, seeds were chewed to alleviate stomach aches, and leaves were chewed or used in infusions to treat coughs, colds, and sore throats (D. E. Moerman 1986, varieties not indicated).

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Blades of petals 3–6 mm; sepals 14–26 mm, 0.9–1.3 times as long as spurs. Aquilegia formosa var. formosa
1 Blades of petals 0–3 mm; sepals 10–20 mm, 0.7–1.1 times as long as spurs. > 2
2 Stems and petioles glabrous or sparingly pilose, not at all viscid. Aquilegia formosa var. truncata
2 Stems and petioles densely pubescent, somewhat viscid. Aquilegia formosa var. hypolasia
... more about "Aquilegia formosa"
Alan T. Whittemore +
Fischer ex de Candolle +
10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br /> (40 cm400 mm <br />0.4 m <br />) +
cuneate +, truncate +  and cordate +
straight +
0.9 cm9 mm <br />0.009 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
rounded;oblong +
4mm;6mm +
globose;cylindric +
1-10-flowered +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
Alta. +, B.C. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Calif. +, Idaho +, Mont. +, Nev. +, Oreg. +, Utah +, Wash. +, Wyo. +  and Mexico +
1-10-flowered +
nodding +  and pendent +
showy +  and inconspicuous +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (2.9 cm29 mm <br />0.029 m <br />) +
1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br /> (2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br />) +
sessile +  and aggregate +
axillary +  and terminal +
compound +  and simple +
whorled +, opposite +  and alternate +
cauline +  and basal +
not viscid +
parted +  and lobed +
1.4 cm14 mm <br />0.014 m <br /> (6.8 cm68 mm <br />0.068 m <br />) +
palmate +  and pinnate +
distinct +
conspicuous +
reduced +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
5 +  and 10 +
pilose +  and glabrous +
1.6 cm16 mm <br />0.016 m <br /> (9.5 cm95 mm <br />0.095 m <br />) +
not arillate +  and stalked +
obovoid +
not persistent +
distinct +
perpendicular +
3 +  and 6 +
elliptic +  and lanceolate +
0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br /> (5.1 cm51 mm <br />0.051 m <br />) +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (0.9 cm9 mm <br />0.009 m <br />) +
Illustrated +
straight +
backward-pointing +
narrowed +
1.3 cm13 mm <br />0.013 m <br /> (2.1 cm21 mm <br />0.021 m <br />) +
scale-like +
30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br /> (100 cm1,000 mm <br />1 m <br />) +
persistent +
Aquilegia formosa +
Aquilegia +
species +
enlarged +
herbaceous +  and woody +