Texas Gold Columbine
Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana
Aquilegia chrysantha, commonly known as golden columbine, canary columbine, or southwestern yellow columbine, is a bushy, clump-forming perennial that grows to 1-3’ tall. It is native to canyons in western Texas, southern New Mexico, southern Utah, and Arizona south into northern Mexico, with a disjunct population in southern Colorado.
Large bright yellow flowers bloom in early spring (March-early May). Each flower has five petals, with each petal having a short tube in front and a very distinctive, slender, tapered, downward-pointing, backward-projecting, straight to outward-curving spur, and five-pointed petaloid sepals which are longer than the blades of the petals but are lighter yellow. Flowers have a slight fragrance. Because of its unusual longspurs, this species is frequently used as a parent to hybridize long-spurred hybrid columbines. Compound palmate basal leaves are mostly 3-ternate.
Golden columbine is a loose grower but usually does not need support if given regular moisture during the growing season.
Does best if grown in organically rich, moist, sandy loams in light to moderate shade. Generally tolerates a wide range of soils as long as they are well-drained. Add sand to clay soils to improve drainage. However, this species takes heat and sun better than most other species in the genus. Remove flowering stems after bloom to encourage additional color. Keep soils uniformly moist after bloom to prolong attractive foliage appearance. When foliage depreciates, plants may be cut to the ground—It Reseeds well in optimum growing conditions as long as flowers are not deadheaded.
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8