10 Amazing Facts About Colorado State Flower

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Colorado State Flower - Rocky Mountain Columbine

Find everything about Colorado State and Colorado State Flower in this brief article.

Colorado is a state located in the western mountain region of the United States. The state’s capital is Denver, which is also considered the largest city in the Colorado state.

Colorado is called the Centennial State, when the US turned 100 in 1876 it became the 38th State. Colorado attained statehood in 1876, 1st August. It has the highest mean altitude among all states in US.

There are 38 state parks in Colorado and recreation centers and 11 national forests. Colorado is in fact known for its snow capped peaks, the Rocky mountains, vast cattle ranches extending for a few miles.

Colorado is the only state in USA which has more than 1000 rocky peaks which are more than 10,000 feet high. Pikes Peak is the highest peak in the range named after Zebulon M Pike who discovered the peak.

River Colorado is the source of the State’s name. Spanish explorers earlier named this river Rio Colorado, which translates to the Red River. The name red river came as the river carried sediments red in color from the mountain above.

Flag of Colorado
Wikimedia Commons

Initially, the  Colorado territory was set up on 28th February 1861. Later, on 1st August 1876, Colorado state was admitted to the Union as the 38th state of the United States. The admission of the state happened after the United States President – Ulysses.S.Grant signed Proclamation 230, making it an official state. 

Colorado State is a kind in its nature, geographical set-up, and interesting history of its making with its diverse geography and the unique state symbols. These state symbols include Colorado state flower, state amphibian, state motto, state fish, and many more.

I hope you have fun reading the unique facts about Colorado state flowers and Colorado itself.

Cultivation of the Columbine flower

The Columbine flower is found growing in large chain in the Rocky mountain. The bell shape and the elongated form of the flower makes it especially beautiful. The flowers also have the perfect fragrance so that you can add them to your garden.

The Columbine flowers are two colored and also drought tolerant. The flower grows best under the shade though mild rays of the sun hardly has an impact upon them. Well-drained, well moisturized and rich soil are best for the cultivation of this flower. Seeds should be planted from April to July.

Now comes the turn of leafiness. Its a common problem that is true in case of all flowers that they produce pale green lines on the leaves.

All About The Astonishing Colorado State Flower!

The Colorado state is well known for its remarkable geography known for its completely diverse nature. Diverse geography embraces the alpine mountains, deep canyons, high plains, and deserts equally in Colorado.

In fact it is a beautiful state where the landscape varies, from the prairies situated in the East, to the deserts extending to the west and the south. Columbine is a rare flower growing between 7000 to 10000 feet in the Rocky mountain.  In 1925  a law forbidding needless destruction and waste  was passed to protect this flower.


cb 2
Images by Dr. Alan Lipkin/ Shutterstock, Copyright 2021.

In the mountain regions of the state grows the famous Colorado state flower. It is known as Rocky Mountain Columbine or Columbine Aquilegia Caerulea. This beautiful flowering plant is native to rocky mountains from Montana to New Mexico.

The scientific name of the Colorado state flower is Aquilegia Coerulea, and it belongs to:

The Rocky Mountain Columbine is quite symbolic through its appearance. It symbolizes the Colorado State and its uniqueness with its color variation.

North America has one third of the species of rocky mountain columbine out of seventy varieties that are readily available. The many shades of this flower symbolizes the many aspects of Nature and culture. Blue shows the color of sky, white the color of snow and yellow show the color of gold mining industry.

The beautiful columbine flower is something that every collector wants for his rock garden. In 1925 a law was enacted to protect this beautiful delicate flower. The Colorado General Assembly made it illegal for anybody to pluck this flower from public places and to tear away the buds of this blooming flower. In case of private lands plucking of flowers is entirely overruled by law.

This flower received a rare honor when the song “Where the Columbines grow” was adopted as the official national song of Colorado.

The blue petals of the flower are referred to as the clear blue sky of the States, whereas the white buttercups like petals represent the snow-capped mountains that are seen in winter. The yellow stamen at the center describes the State’s gold mine history.

This flowering plant grows mostly in the moist atmosphere in the rich and rocky soil with the support of light sun rays. As it is a perennial plant, it only lasts for a few years, that is, 4-5 years, but the experience of viewing each bloom of the flower is a delight.

The peak bloom time for the Rocky Mountain Columbine is from May to June. Therefore, the people hiking during the spring and summertime can see and experience the amazing columbine.

The butterflies, bumblebees, hummingbirds, native bees, and many more birds and insects are attracted to the columbine’s sweet nectar. In exchange for this nectar, the birds act as a pollinator to the Colorado state flower.

The cultivation of this plant is a straightforward process as the requirements of the plant are limited. These plants can co-occur and can be very different in color from their mother plant.

Columbians can be nothing but proud of their state flower. The flower blooms perennially and with its petal all open glowing under the morning sun it makes for a sight which is worth looking at. The Columbines start spreading out their petals in mid May and the blooming dales dance along with the breeze from the month of June. Their graceful petals have modified nectar spur as butterflies and hummingbirds suck them.

The Columbine is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens. There are variations of the Aquilegia genus. Due to this, the color of the flowers also varies from pale blue and white to pale yellow and pink.

A. History Of Colorado State Flower

Rocky Mountain Columbine is one of the unique flowering plants found in the Colorado state.

The story of the discovery of Columbine dates back to 1820. Edwin James – the mountain climber, discovered the white and lavender columbine on Pike’s Peak.

The columbine became the official state flower on April 4, 1899, by the student’s vote and lawmakers’ decision. The purpose of this decision was to save the most beautiful flower from the verge of extinction.

B. Fun Facts About Colorado State Flower

  1. For the preservation of these fragile flowers, rules have been regulated for their safety by the government: 
  • Rule 1 – In Colorado state, it is illegal to pick up the columbines from any open field or when found in the wild. If you pick up the flower, it is considered a crime practice and is punishable by a fine ranging from $5 to $50.
  • Rule 2 – To protect the flower, the law prohibits uprooting the flower or digging flowers on public lands and limiting the gathering of buds, stems, and blossoms to 25 in one day.

These laws came to effect in 1925 when the General Assembly made the decision. The decision was made to realize citizens’ role and duty in protecting these rare species from needless destruction or waste.

2. There is a loophole above the law. It is illegal to pick up the flowers from public land, but you can pick up the flowers from private land after acquiring permission from the landowner. It is unlawful to pick up the flower from private land without the consent of the owner.

3. The scientific name of columbine is Aquilegia Coerulea; it is also called Columbine Aquilegia Caerulea. This biological name is given by famous biologist Linneaus.

Based on the Latin translation of the word Aquilegia Coerulae, it is observed to have different meanings.

  • The Latin name, Aquilegia, is classified into aqua, meaning water, and Legere, which means to collect. Therefore this word refers to the water collected at the base of the spur.
  • In Latin, the word Aquil refers to an eagle, thus representing the columbine’s nectar spurs as an eagle’s talons.
  • The meaning of the word Coerulae in Latin is sky blue which refers to the color of the flower.

4. The Columbine’s name is also derived from the Latin word Columba which translates to Dove. This can be a befitting name for the graceful, long-spurred flower.

5. The Rocky Mountain Columbine is a perennial plant that often grows from 6000 ft to 12000 ft.

6. The most amazing fact about Colorado State Flower is that school children elected it. With the maximum votes of school children, the Rocky Mountain Columbine was elected as a state flower based on its beauty.

7. in honor of the beautiful Columbine flower, Dr. Arthur John Fynn wrote and sung the song ‘Where the Columbines Grow.’ Later on, in 1915, the song ‘Where the Columbines Grow’ by Fynn was adopted as its first song.

8. Colorado state flower that is columbine, can also be used as an herbal remedy. This remedy helps us to treat diseases from fever to heart pain. The Native Americans used this natural remedy of columbine before we knew its miraculous benefits.

9. There are 70 species of Columbine worldwide, and interestingly, most of them are found in America. America is native to 1/3rd of the columbines out of 70 species.

10. Aquilegia Coerulea has gained the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticulture Society of London, United Kingdoms.

 Some characteristics of columbine flowers 

  • Columbines are multicolored delicate flowers  that grow on slender stalks and while they bloom they attract all kinds of insects bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. They are called bee’s cap, granny’s bonnet and columbine.
  • Columbines have five petals and five sepals. The foliage is green in color with small rounded leaves.
  • Columbine is derived from the Latin word Columba which means dove as the plant has an appearance of long tailed doves all quietly huddled up in a corner.
  • For Christians Columbine is a holy flower and symbolizes the virginity of Mary. For ancient Greeks this flower was associated with Aphrodite and for Romans it was associated with Venus. For Celtics this plant serves as a common doorway between two worlds.
  • There are many species of plants which are considered toxic for humans but the leaves and flowers of columbine are edible and used as a flavoring for tea and coffee substitutes.
  • The plants root go deep inside the soil so if you are keen to take it home you must cut the root with a sharp knife. This plant also grows in numbers as its seeds can be stored through the cold winter and then planted in the garden during the spring.
  • Seeds of this plant take three to four weeks to germinate and two years to blossom. After its height has reached 7-10 cms transplant it outside. Oils and insecticidal soaps helps in reducing leaf miner disease in these plants.

C. More About the Colorado State

Colorado is a unique state with the motto ‘Nil Sine Numine,’ which translates to ‘Nothing without Providence .’ It can also be said as ‘Nothing without the Deity.’

Colorado State
By marchinileo0/Pixabay, Copyright 2021.

The state has many symbols related to various categories, which represents the diversity of the state. The symbols are:

  • State Amphibian – Western Tiger Salamander.
  • State Bird – Lark Bunting.
  • State Cactus – Echinocereus Triglochidiatus.
  • State Fish – Greenback Cutthroat Trout.
  • State Grass – Blue Grama.
  • State Insect – Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
  • State Animal – Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
  • State Pet – Colorado Shelter Pets.
  • State Reptile – Western Painted Turtle.
  • State Tree – Colorado Blue Spruce.
  • State Fossil – Stegosaurus.
  • State Gemstone – Aquamarine.
  • State Rock – Yule Marble.
  • State Mineral – Rhodochrosite.
  • State Soil – Seitz Soil.

Because of the State’s diverse geography, the slogan of the state is kept as Colorful Colorado.

Another unique fact about Colorado state as mentioned earlier is that it also has a nickname for itself. First of all, the nickname of Colorado State is Centennial State. The reason behind it is that the Colorado state became a state after one century of the Declaration of Independence by the United States.

Colorado State is also famous for spring hiking and winter activities. As there is diversity in nature, you can experience all the adventures in Colorado. Not only adventures but you can also come here to calm the mind and relax.

The unique state of Colorado and its unique symbols make us realize that everything is important. Colorful Colorado not only preserves its marvelous beauty but also depicts different aspects of the state. That is, from hiking to other adventurous as well as soothing activities.

Columbine Care

Columbines are great re-seeders. Many gardeners buy the plants from seed rather than buying them in pots from the local nursey. As drought tolerant plants they are more suitable for rock gardens and woodlands.

Water should be applied once the top of the soil an inch or two has dried. You can only water the soil once the soil has dried up after you have applied water for the first time. Young plants need moist soil to grow but it should never turn soggy. Plants which have completely grown up needs water only once a week.


A liquid water soluble fertilizer must be used during the growing seasons so that flowers bloom with time and healthy foliage develops. For healthy root development you need phospherous. Along with phospherous fertlizers containing nitrogen are used to improve the quality of the soil.

This article briefly explains the facts about the Colorado state flower and its uniqueness. If you go hiking in the springtime in Colorado, do keep an eye on the route for the amazing columbine flower. Watching this beautiful flower can mesmerize you and bring delight to your eyes.


You have to prune columbines to their base leaves just after the time they have started blooming. There is every chance that a second set of stems will grow in a few weeks and the plant will bloom for a second time in the same season. After flowering many a times columbine plants are cut short so that they remain green for the rest of the season.

Hopefully, this article about the amazing Colorado state flower gave you information regarding the various facts related to this flower. Not only facts but also rules to keep the flowers out of the verge of extinction.

The government’s thoughtful thinking and the duties performed by the citizens is a remarkable example of paying attention to the environment and preserve it. Enjoy the wonders of nature, all the while protecting them from any harm. Go green!!

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