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What’s Blooming this Week: Columbine

Right across Lowry Mall from the tulips I posted a couple of weeks ago, and under the magnolias that kicked off this series, there's a beautiful bed of columbine in full bloom.


Columbines are part of the genus Aquilegia and grow wild throughout the nothern hemisphere.  The ones in the Mizzou Botanic Garden are derived from the species Aquilegia vulgaris, also known as European Columbine.  This week's illustration is from Johann Theodor de Bry's Florilegium renovatum et auctum (1641), an updated version of his Florilegium novum with engravings by his son-in-law, Matthäus Merian.  Some of the flowers on this page have double blossoms, and you can still find this type of hybrid columbine under cultivation.  The recognizable spurred bloom of the columbine appears right in the middle of the page.

Columbines from de Bry's Florilegium

Merian's daughter, Maria Sybilla Merian, would go on to become an accompished artist and naturalist herself.  Check out Julie Christenson's blog post about her for more information and some beautiful images.

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