spurred on

May 05, 2024  •  4 Comments

"The genus name Aquilegia comes from the Latin "Aquila" or "eagle"; this is in obvious reference to the spurred, "hook" shapes within the blooms, that many gardeners say resemble an eagle's talons."  I have to ponder that one, from the good folks at Wikipedia.  But the spurs of all columbine flowers are definitely distinctive, and make identifying the Colorado state flower along with other varieties much easier.   The particular columbine I spent the week photographing - Origami Red and White - is most likely a hybrid of Aquilegia vulgaris, the European variety.  The Origami Red and White is a semi-dwarf variety, the flowers of which are large in relation to the plant and really pack a photographic punch.  The image below shows the cup with the yellow stamens inside.  There can be as many as fifty of these per flowers, and are quite apparent to hummingbirds as well as pollinating insects.        

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 1 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 1 2024  


As is always the case when I have camera in hand, my goal is to shoot from as many angles as possible.  The technique also enables me to view the spurs, which give the columbine a bit of an alien look.  In all the images below, you can clearly see the spurs.  What appears to be a glistening ball or blob on the end of each spur actually secretes nectar.  

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 5 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 5 2024

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 4 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 4 2024

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 6 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 6 2024

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 8 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 8 2024

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 9 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 9 2024

Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 7 2024Flowers - Aquilegia 'Origami red & white 7 2024


Thanks to Victoria, Christina, Jean & Sam, Barbara F. R., Marilyn G., Steve, Charleen, and Carolyn S. for commenting this week!

I hope you are all "spurred on" to photograph your own world during the week ahead.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©





An exquisite flower captured by an exceptional photographer.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Clever title. A great post today. Daryl. The ubiquitous columbine is a marvel. So intricate. The spurs to me look like slippers on the delicate legs of a dancer. Alien is an apt description. And the tenacles have the appearance of an animate creature perhaps an insect, It seems that I'm always seeing a creature among the botanicals. Angles are wonderful tools, and you use them wonderfully. Well done!
Aren’t they a breath of fresh air! BEEAUTIFUL
Perfect, with my cuppa, this morning! Thank you!
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