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Aquilegia canadensis  L.
Montgomery County, Kansas
Height: 1-3 feet
Family: Ranunculaceae - Buttercup Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Also Called: Red columbine.
Stems: Erect, branching, hollow, cylindrical, glabrous to slightly hairy on upper portion.
Leaves: Alternate and basal, pinnately 3-compound, on slender stalks; basal leaves in 3's; leaflets each 3-parted, ultimate segments triangular or wedge-shaped, shallowly or deeply lobed, glabrous to finely hairy, especially beneath; stem leaves similar, gradually reduced, on shorter stalks.
Inflorescences: Solitary flower, terminal on branches.
Flowers: Nodding, showy, 1 to 2 inches long from tips of stamens to ends of petal spurs, .6 to 1.75 inch wide; sepals 5, petal-like, dull rose or reddish, .25 to .75 inch long; petals 5, rose or purplish-red basally, yellowish above and inside, .4 to 1.4 inch long, alternating with sepals, lower portion prolonged upward into narrow, hollow spur, spur tip slightly enlarged; stamens numerous, conspicuously extending beyond corolla.
Fruits: Pods, 5, erect, .6 to 1.2 inch long, each bearing a beak .1 to .4 inch long.
Habitat: Rocky woods and on steep wooded slopes, often on limestone ledges and bluffs; moist soils.
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas.
Uses: Native American men would crush the seeds and rub them on their hands before going courting. They would shake hands with the young lady they were interested in, with the hope that this would increase their chances of a favorable response. The crushed seeds were also used as a perfume and taken as an infusion for headaches and fever.
Comments: The name is said to come from Latin aquila "eagle", due to the spurs on the petals which resemble talons. Visited by ruby-throated humingbirds and bumble-bees.

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