This Columbine is one of several hummingbird flowers that blooms from mid to late summer in the high Sierra Nevada. The red flowers of this species are regularly visited by the Calliope hummingbirds that breed in these forests and by migrants such as the Rufous and Allen's Hummingbird. Each of the five petals of this species is shaped like a deep ice cream cone or spur that produces copious amounts of nectar. Studies have shown that nectar yield is an important factor in competition between Columbine and several other plant species for pollination by hummingbirds.
DISTRIBUTION: Streambanks, seeps, moist places, chaparral, oak woodland, and mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest throughout the Calif. Floristic Province (except the Great Central Valley, South Coast, and Channel Islands), Great Basin Province, and desert mountains; < 3300 m.