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Columbine, in the commedia dell'arte


see commedia dell'artecommedia dell'arte
, popular form of comedy employing improvised dialogue and masked characters that flourished in Italy from the 16th to the 18th cent. Characters of the Commedia Dell'Arte
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columbine, in botany


(kŏl`əmbīn), any plant of the genus Aquilegia, temperate-zone perennials of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercupbuttercup
or crowfoot,
common name for the Ranunculaceae, a family of chiefly annual or perennial herbs of cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Thought to be one of the most primitive families of dicotyledenous plants, the Ranunculaceae typically have a simple
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 family), popular both as wildflowers and as garden flowers. Columbines have delicate and attractive foliage and flower petals with long spurs that secrete nectar. The common Eastern red-and-yellow-flowered wild columbine (A. canadensis), frequenting rocky places, is also called rockbell; it is a favorite of hummingbirds, and Native Americans made an infusion of the seeds for headache and fever. The blue-and-white-flowered A. coerulea of the Rockies is the state flower of Colorado. The common European columbine (A. vulgaris), blue, white, or purple flowered, has been the source of many cultivars—some double and of various soft colors. Columbine is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Ranunculales, family Ranunculaceae.


light-hearted, flirtatious girl. [Ital. Lit.: Walsh Classical, 83]


traditional symbol of folly. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 173]
See: Folly


any plant of the ranunculaceous genus Aquilegia, having purple, blue, yellow, or red flowers with five spurred petals