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Re: weather - columbines

In a message dated 05/14/2004 5:31:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
mhobertm@excite.com writes:

> Auralie and Kitty: As I am fairly new to the world of columbines, could
> you explain this language: spurred, granny's bonnets, no spurs, doubles,
> etc. TIA.

Melody, if you look at a columbine flower you will see it is divided into 
five segments.
Hortus describes it this way: "5 petals with a short, broad lip, or lamina, 
and usually a long, hollow, backward-projecting spur." There are approximately 
70 species
   The columbines grown in Europe - at least since the 13th century were 
given the name Aquilegia, derived from the Latin for eagle, as the short, hooked 
spurs suggested an eagle's talons.  The common name, columbine, also from the 
Latin, means "dove," as some thought the circle of spurs looked like doves' 
heads in a circle.  The spurs in the most common European species, A. vulgaris 
are quite short, almost chubby - as the doves' heads image would indicate.  Two 
notable American species are A. canadensis, a small, bright red and yellow 
blossom and A. caerulea, the blue Colorado columbine.  Both these species, and 
other American natives as well, have proportionately longer, thinner spurs.  
Some Americans have extremely long spurs - up to four inches.  Most garden 
columbines are hybrids, but the length of the spurs indicates which strain is 
dominant, with the longer-spurred ones having more American heritage. The spurless 
and "granny's bonnet" are probably hybrids - I don't seem to find a species 
description that would match. Another of those native-vs.-alien species questions 
that are so silly and complicated. 
Hope this helps

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