Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the the June 7, 2009 Newsletter, issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of Grants Pass, Oregon:
Columbines here are similar to those ofn the East, though they're a different species. They're Western Columbines, AQUILEGIA FORMOSA, and you can see one along a mountain road, standing before a Swordfern, above.
Below, you see a single flower.
In the common columbine of the East the flower's sepals project downward or at an angle instead of horizontally, plus they're shorter than the spurs, while you can see that our Western species' sepals are horizontal and about as long as the spurs.
Most columbines I've seen back East have been among mossy, rocky areas and in moist, protected valleys, but our Western Columbine shows up in relatively dry, weedy places, as well as moist, sheltered woodlands.