Aquilegia coerulea x elegantula
Aquilegia coerulea x elegantula (Hybrid Columbine) 
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Above: July 13, 2016.
Left: August 2, 2005.
Location not given to protect the plants.

Blue Aquilegia coerulea has showy flared sepals and petals; Red Aquilegia elegantula is streamlined and cylindrical. Both species have elongated spurs descending from their petals.  Hybrids of the two, shown on this page, blend characteristics of the two species, but in general they take their color primarily from A. elegantula and their shape primarily from A. coerulea.

At the right side of the above photograph are several blue Aquilegia coerulea. At the left side are several red and yellow Aquilegia elegantula. And at the top center is the star of this page, a hybrid of the two species.

William Weber indicates that "since there are no genetic barriers between species of Aquilegia, hybrids are to be found between any species that come in contact".  However, I have found very few hybrids in the Four Corners area, although once one becomes tuned in to their characteristics and habitat, one does find them more often.

Weber also indicates that the hybridization "causes some variability in [Aquilegia coerulea] but leaves Aquilegia elegantula pure".

In the photograph at left, the lower right flower is not open; the bud will open to look like the top flower with flared sepals.