Some flowers of aquilegia caerulea
(or aquilegia coerulea) are entirely white, but others have a range of subtle colors including blue, yellow, pink and red, of which light to dark blue is most common. Flowers are large and elegant, consisting of five lance-shaped sepals - the parts more likely to be colored - behind five larger, rounded petals, which extend backwards into a long, thin spur. At the center are many white stamens topped by yellow anthers. Richer and more varied colors are much more common in cultivated varieties; the plant is a popular choice for ornamental gardens. Flowers grow singly or in small clusters, at the end of stalks that have a fine covering of hairs and large, lobed leaves around the base.Var alpina
is an uncommon variant, found in high elevation areas of west Wyoming; it has petals around half an inch long compared with the usual one inch. Three other varieties are var coerulea
, the most common form, which has deep blue sepals, and two with pale blue, pinkish or white sepals: var ochroleuca
of Utah northwards and var pinetorum
of south Utah and Arizona. These latter two are distinguished by the length of the spurs and stamens.