I've grown columbine for 5 years and this is the first I've seen a fall rebloom. It's one of the standard red columbines. Just curious whether you've observed this in your garden.
My neighbor's rhodie is also blooming.
It is not as uncommon as you might think - a fair number of plants will offer out of season flowers. Most often you see this in plants that have a very early bloom season - like late winter into early spring: rhodies, azaleas, hellebores, the occasional early clematis. But sometimes you will see this on later flowering plants........oriental poppies, columbine, various broadleaved evergreen shrubs, even flowering trees like dogwoods.
The explanation most often given is that the early fall weather - cool temps, plenty of rainfall, short day length, etc. - kind of tricks the plants into thinking it is spring and time to do their stuff. This inclination seems to increase after an extended dry and/or hot summer that tends to force the plants into an early and temporary dormancy.
The out of sequence bloom cycle usually does not interfere or interrupt the normal seasonal bloom cycle..........it's just a little bonus!!
Oh, I'm glad to hear it doesn't affect next year's blooms. I have a medusa rhodie putting on quite a show right now. :D
Thank you, gardengal! I figured my columbine would bloom next spring but I wasn't so sure about my neighbor's rhodie since they set their buds after bloom.