Aquilegia is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants that are found in meadows, woodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, known for the spurred petals of their flowers. The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals are said to resemble an eagle's claw.
Aquilegiae are used as food plants by some Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) caterpillars. These are mainly of noctuid moths – noted for feeding on many poisonous plants without harm – like Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae), Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae) and Mouse Moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis). The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), a geometer moth, also uses Aquilegiae as larval foodplant.
Several species are grown in gardens, including the European Aquilegia (A. vulgaris), a traditional garden flower in many parts of the world. Numerous cultivars and hybrids have also been developed as well. They are easy to propagate from seed.
Aquilegia is a perennial, which propagates by seed. It will grow to a height of 15 to 20 inches. It will grow in full sun, however, prefers growing in partial shade and well drained soil, and is able to tolerate average soils and dry soil conditions.
Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquilegia - 23.11.2011
The more or less racily nutant blossom with the remarkable spurs on the back, is typical for all Aquilegiae.