One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An aquilegia with long-spurred flowers.
Genus Aquilegia, family Ranunculaceae: several species, including the white-flowered Colorado blue columbine (A. coerulea) with blue sepals, and the red-flowered A. canadensis
- ‘Provide bright flowers such as columbine, Japanese quince, scarlet sage, snapdragons, coral bells, trumpet honeysuckle, bee balm, phlox and others that are tube-shaped to attract hummingbirds.’
- ‘Next, to create a casual country look, she interspersed three large fieldstones in the bed, then planted flowering perennials such as astilbe, columbine, delphinium, and hellebore among them.’
- ‘In the surrounding beds, hollyhocks soar and golden columbines provide bright splashes.’
- ‘‘Wish you could see my yellow columbines,’ the daughter says.’
- ‘The mild days and chilly nights extend bloom of summer perennials like columbines and Shasta daisies.’
- ‘Other wildflowers are common Solomon's seal, false Solomon's seal, two kinds of golden bellworts, hepatica, wild columbine, monkshood, bloodroot, toothwort, and wild ginger.’
- ‘Most columbine flowers have backward-projecting spurs that contain rich nectar that can only be reached by hummingbirds.’
- ‘Among the wildflowers are a red columbine, aster, figwort, wild sarsaparilla, fleabane, and avens.’
- ‘As we climb, the maze of trees, ferns, and blueberry bushes gives way to subalpine meadows painted with purple lupine, pale blue gentians, crimson columbine, and yellow arnica.’
- ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials - including bleeding heart, butterfly weed, columbine, delphinium, liatris, and penstemon - require a period of chilling to germinate.’
- ‘My favorite imitator, the Hinckley columbine, is like a butter-yellow, otherworldly bird.’
- ‘Deep-throated blooms such as columbines and salvias best serve butterflies with longer tongues.’
- ‘Other gardeners prefer to interplant them with spring flowers such as columbines, daisies, dianthus, Iceland poppies, lupines, and peonies.’
- ‘However, in a high-elevation species of columbine, enhanced UV-B radiation appeared to destroy alkaloids.’
- ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials, including bleeding hearts, columbines, phlox, and primulas, require a period of chilling to germinate.’
- ‘Handsome at all seasons, in early spring bishop's hat is embellished by sprays of tiny flowers that resemble miniature columbine.’
- ‘The mound, from base to crown, was cloaked in flowers; in monkshood, columbine, goldenrod, blazingstar and others.’
- ‘All columbine flowers have backward-projecting spurs that contain rich nectar.’
- ‘The same goes for roses, columbine, dahlias, veronicas, salvias and many perennials - and it's true for most annuals as well.’
- ‘The upper bed is mostly for perennials, including red-and-white columbines, purple blue campanulas, and tall blue delphiniums fronted by yellow and orange Iceland poppies.’
Late Middle English: from Old French colombine, from medieval Latin colombina (herba) ‘dove-like (plant)’, from Latin columba ‘dove’ (from the supposed resemblance of the flower to a cluster of five doves).
A character in Italian commedia dell'arte, the mistress of Harlequin.
From French Colombine, from Italian Colombina, feminine of colombino ‘dove-like’, from colombo ‘dove’.
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