Aquilegia, from aquila, an eagle. The inverted spurs of the flower have been likened to the talons of a bird of prey.
A: vulgaris, and its varieties, are too well known to require description. Some of them are very beautiful, and all interesting when planted in beds or masses; they are of every shade of blue, purple, white, reddish-brown, striped or variegated, with single, semi-double, and full-double flowers. In bloom in May and June; two feet high. Propagated from seed, or the choice varieties by divisions of the roots.
A. Canadense is one of the finest species; indigenous; common in rocky situations; flowering early in May. It has pendulous scarlet flowers. I have seen a variety with pure white flowers, and undertook to transfer it to my garden, but the root was wedged into a seam in a rock, and was broken off and ruined in the attempt. Mr. Carter, formerly of the Botanic Garden, had a straw-colored variety. This elegant vernal flower is much improved when cultivated; the stool increasing in magnitude, throwing up many more stems, and the flowers larger. If a little more attention could be given to its cultivation by seed from flowers cross-impregnated from the garden species, no doubt some fine varieties would be obtained.
A. glandulosa is a beautiful and newly-introduced species of great beauty. The plant is more dwarfish in its habits than the common Columbine; the leaves more finely divided. It is about one foot high, producing in June numerous large, rich, sky-blue flowers; the internal part and margin of the corolla pure white. It is one of the most desirable of the family; raised from seeds or divisions of the root. Columbine should be divided soon after flowering, and not in the spring. All are at home in any common garden soil.