Growth Characteristics: Colorado Columbine is a bushy, clump-forming perennial, 1-2 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide, growing from a taproot. It blooms April-July. Most species are short-lived, living only two or three years.
Flowers: Erect. Columbine is often bi-colored, meaning the sepals and the petals are two different colors. There are 5 petals and 5 sepals. The sepals extend out at right angles from the flower. The petals extend backward forming a slender spur with a bulbous, glandular tip. The petals and sepals range in color from white to blue, or sometimes pink. The stamens are 13-24 mm long, and often extend out beyond the petals. Columbine is pollinated by bees.
Leaves: The basal leaves are one to three times ternately compound, 9-37 cm, and much shorter than the stems. Leaflets are green on top. The leaves of Columbine are similar to the leaves of Meadow-rue.