Height 5-40cm. Tufted with small blue-green biternate leaves, the crowded leaflets 0.5-1.5cm wide. Flowers large and erect, 3-4cm wide and 3.5-3.5cm long, spur 2.5-5cm long, typically lavender to violet with white to yellowish petals. A.s. forma perplexans from Nevada has flowers of very variable colour, red, blue, white or bi-coloured. A.s. forma calcarea is a very dwarf blue form from southern Utah. All variants of A. scopulorum are among the most desirable aquilegias for scree and alpine house and are easier to grow than A. jonesii.