Colorado State is a kind in its nature, geographical set-up, and interesting history of its making with its diverse geography and unique state symbols.
These symbols include the Colorado state flower, state amphibian, state motto, state fish, and many more.
Read the unique facts below about Colorado state flowers and Colorado itself!
1. All about the Astonishing Colorado State Flower
Colorado State is well known for its unique geography and completely diverse nature. Diverse geography embraces the alpine mountains, deep canyons, high plains, and deserts equally in Colorado.
It is a beautiful state where the landscape varies, from the prairies in the East to the deserts extending to the west and the south. Columbine is a rare flower growing between 7,000 to 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains.
The Columbine flower grows in a large chain in the Rocky Mountains. The bell shape and the elongated form of the flower make it especially beautiful. The flowers also have the perfect fragrance to add 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 impact them.
Well-drained, moisturized, and rich soil is best for cultivating this flower. Seeds should be planted from April to July.
The scientific name of the Colorado state flower is Aquilegia Coerulea, and it belongs to:
2. The Symbolism
Out of seventy readily available varieties, North America has one-third of the rocky mountain columbine species.
The many shades of this flower symbolize the many aspects of nature and culture. Blue is the color of the sky, white is the color of snow, and yellow is the color of the gold mining industry.
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 blue petals of the flower are referred to as the clear blue sky of the States, whereas the white buttercup-like petals represent the snow-capped mountains seen in winter.
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 pollinators of the Colorado state flower.
Culturing this plant is a straightforward process as the plant’s requirements are limited. These plants can co-occur and be very different in color from their mother plant.
3. History of Colorado State Flower
Rocky Mountain Columbine is one of the unique flowering plants in Colorado.
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. This decision aimed to save the most beautiful flower from the verge of extinction.
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 the case of private lands, the 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.
4. Some Characteristics of Columbine Flowers
- Columbines are delicate multicolored flowers that grow on slender stalks, and while they bloom, they attract all kinds of insects, including 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 with small, rounded leaves.
- Columbine is derived from the Latin Columba, which means dove, as the plant appears to be long-tailed doves quietly huddled up in a corner.
- For Christians, Columbine is a holy flower and symbolizes the virginity of Mary. This flower was associated with Aphrodite for ancient Greeks, and for Romans, it was associated with Venus. For Celtics, this plant serves as a common doorway between two worlds.
- Many species of plants 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 plant’s roots go deep inside the soil, so if you want 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 cm, transplant it outside. Oils and insecticidal soaps help in reducing leaf-miner disease in these plants.
5. Fun Facts about Colorado State Flower
5.1. Preservation of Colorado State Flowers
For the preservation of these fragile flowers, rules have been regulated for their safety by the government:
- Rule 1 – In Colorado, picking up the columbines from any open field or when found in the wild is illegal. 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 or digging flowers on public lands and limiting the gathering of buds, stems, and blossoms to 25 in one day.
These laws came into effect in 1925 when the General Assembly decided. The decision was made to realize citizens’ role and duty in protecting these rare species from needless destruction or waste.
5.2. Where Permissions Are Granted?
There is a loophole above the law. It is illegal to pick up flowers from public land, but you can pick them up from private land after acquiring permission from the landowner. It is unlawful to pick up the flower from private land without the owner’s consent.
5.3. Meaning of the Name
The scientific name of columbine is Aquilegiacoeruleaa, also called Columbine Aquilegia Caerulea. This biological name is given by the famous biologist Linnaeus.
Based on the Latin translation of the word Aquilegia Coerulae, it is observed to have different meanings.
- The Latin Aquilegia is classified into aqua, meaning water, and Legere, meaning 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.
- 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.
The Rocky Mountain Columbine is a perennial plant that often grows from 6000 ft to 12000 ft.
5.5. How Was Columbine Elected?
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.
5.6. Song Written about the Colorado State Flower
In honor of the beautiful Columbine flower, Dr. Arthur John Fynn wrote and sang the song ‘Where the Columbines Grow.’ Later on, in 1915, the song ‘Where the Columbines Grow’ by Fynn was adopted as its first song.
5.7. Columbine as a Herbal Remedy
Colorado’s columbine flower 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.
5.8. Number of Species
There are 70 species of Columbine worldwide; interestingly, most of them are found in America. America is native to 1/3rd of the Columbines out of 70 species.
5.9. Garden Merit Award
Aquilegia Coerulea earned the Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticulture Society of London, United Kingdom.
The peak bloom time for the Rocky Mountain Columbine is from May to June. Therefore, people hiking during the spring and summer can see and experience the amazing columbine.
Columbians can be nothing but proud of their state flower. The flower blooms perennially, and with its open and glowing petals under the morning sun, it makes for a sight worth looking at.
The Columbines start spreading their petals in mid-May, and the blooming dales dance along with the breeze from June. Their graceful petals have modified nectar spurs as butterflies and hummingbirds suck them.
The Columbine is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens. Due to this, the color of the flowers also varies from pale blue and white to pale yellow and pink.
Hope you learn something from the knowledge above!