For years, these renowned “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” signs have energized tourists by informing them that the mountains are nearby.
The colorful Colorado Territory was established on February 28, 1861. Colorado was admitted to the Union as the 38th state of the United States on August 1, 1876. The state was admitted after Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, signed Proclamation 230, declaring it an official state.
Colorado State is one-of-a-kind in its character, geographical layout, and fascinating history of formation, with its diversified landscape and distinctive state emblems.
Colorado state’s emblems include the Colorado state flower, state amphibian, state motto, state fish, and many others. The official Colorado state flowers are White and Lavender Columbine.
Official State Flower
The official Colorado State Flower is the Columbine Flower (Aquilegia Caerules) or Rocky Mountain Columbine-White and Lavender. The columbine flower blooms in the spring.
In April 1899, the Columbine flower was proclaimed the Colorado State Flower. The Columbine Flower was called after the Latin word Columba, which means Dove since it resembled the peace bird.
The lavender and white Rocky Mountain Columbine was officially named Colorado State Flower after winning a referendum among Colorado’s school children. The Colorado school children voted for this flower to win.
It was discovered in 1820 on Pike’s Peak by mountain climber Edwin James. It is a gorgeous flower with a deep perfume that attracts bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to its nectar.
The claw-like spurs at the bloom base are referred to as Aquila, which means “Eagle” in Latin. The Columbine is the most treasured of all the wildflowers that bloom in Colorado outdoors from April through July each year.
Its official role as the Colorado State Flower makes it a lovely symbol of the Centennial State.
Where does this White and Lavender Columbine grow?
Columbine plants may be found in both Canada and the United States. Their range stretches from the Northwest Territories to Texas and Florida in the south. Columbines are fairly uncommon in Colorado.
Columbine flowers can be found growing wild along stream banks and in forests and manicured mountain gardens, in mountain communities across the Rocky Mountains and many other parts of the United States.
They frequently grow in the wild on soil that is hardly more than crumbled stone where soils can be very acidic and depleted in nutrients, where water is scarce, and the temperatures are extreme.
A number of columbine plant species are cultivated in gardens for landscaping and decorative purposes.
The Rocky Mountain columbine is endemic to the Rocky Mountains area of Colorado, which means it can only be found there at heights ranging from 7,000 to 10,000 feet.
It is indigenous to the western United States and flourishes in meadows, woodlands, and mountains. Columbines are fairly uncommon in Colorado.
About Columbine flowers
The unusual bell-shaped blossoms and extended petals of columbine flowers make them clearly identifiable.
With their tiny blooms and leaves, these plants appear frail, although they are among the hardiest of native species.
These tough, tiny plants sprout year after year to mark the arrival of spring. Their vibrant hues provide joy to people while also providing food for birds and insects.
Though the Aquilegia Caerulea is the official state flower of Colorado today, lawmakers, at their time, were unclear in their definition of the state flower, defining it as lavender and white.
Facts About The Colorado State Flower
- The General Assembly passed legislation in 1925 to safeguard the rare and fragile state flower. The law prohibits digging the flower on public grounds, and the number of flowers and buds that may be collected in a single day is restricted to 25.
- Columbines may not be plucked at all on private land without the permission of the proprietor; it is against the law. It was a misdemeanour when the law was created, punishable by a fine of not less than five or more than fifty dollars.
- The White and Lavender Columbine flower’s blue petals reflect the beautiful blue sky of the United States, while the white buttercup-like petals depict the snow-capped mountains seen in winter. The yellow stamen in the middle describes the history of the state’s gold mines.
- The Rocky Mountain Columbine won by a landslide — 14,472 of the 22,316 votes cast by school children.
- The blossom’s distinctive form makes it ideal for attracting long-tongued nectar feeders such as moths and hummingbirds. Hummingbirds and columbines are symbiotic. In exchange for nectar, they serve as Columbine’s primary pollinator.
- The Columbine is claimed to have been utilized as a herbal remedy by the Native Americans of this vicinity. They utilized Columbine-infused tea to cure anything from fever to heart tension to poison ivy discomfort.
- The state’s fascination with this flower persisted, and in 1915, the song “Where the Columbines Grow” was designated as Colorado’s official song.
- The blossoms of the perennial are unique and lovely. The Colorado State Flower, or, Columbines bloom from early to mid-May and are distinguished by an outer ring of blue spurs and white sepals and an inner ring of erect white petals.
- Flowers from the Columbine are frequently used in photographs promoting the state’s summer grandeur, attracting hikers to the mountains.
- Despite its untamed origin, Colorado’s state flower is occasionally featured in gardens around the state due to its propensity to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Because it is a perennial plant, it only lives for a few years, perhaps 4-5 years, but the pleasure of seeing each bloom of the flower is delightful.
Few Other Colorado State Symbols
- Pikes Peak, the promontory that functioned as both a solid geographical point and an imaginative anchor for the aspirations and dreams of the gold seekers who flocked into the Rocky Mountains after 1858.
- It is arguably Colorado’s first internationally recognized emblem.
- A stylized rendition of the peak appeared on illegal coinage printed by Denver’s Clark and Gruber mint in 1859 and 1860, linking the location with wealth from the outset.
Barred Tiger Salamander:
- Colorado’s state amphibian, known as the Barred Tiger Salamander, or the Western Tiger Salamander, is one of the biggest salamander species in North America.
- The colorful, striped yellow, black, and brown bands that these species wear are similar to those worn by Tigers.
- Almost 20 years before Colorado named the Barred Tiger Salamander its official reptile in 2012, a class of elementary school students in Kansas helped make it their state reptile in 1993.
- This amphibian is well-known, but deforestation and habitat loss are causing population decline.
- In 1994, Colorado state replaced the Rainbow Trout as its official state fish with the greenback cutthroat trout in order to raise local awareness of the Trout’s alarmingly low populations.
- This fish is currently designated as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and it can only be found in an estimated 1% of the area that it was once known to occupy.
- Greenback Cutthroat Trout have unique colours, but their spawning display, which involves dropping eggs and sperm into the water for fertilization, is reported to be spectacular.
- This fish was assumed to be extinct in 1937, but it was discovered again in the 1950s.
- The Echinocereus Triglochidiatus is a cactus species that was adopted by Colorado lawmakers in 2014.
- It belongs to the Hedgehog Cactus family of Cacti.
- It is well-known for its stunning red flower blossoms and is a popular Hummingbird pollination site.
- These thorny plants, also known as the Kingcup Cactus, Claret-cup, and Mojave Mound Cactus, may be found all throughout the southwestern United States and prefer shaded locations in mountain forests.
That concludes our look at Colorado State Flower and a few state symbols. Hopefully, you’ve discovered a few new ones and reviewed some that you may have forgotten about.
Perhaps it’s time to look at some significant events in Colorado’s contemporary history that helped shape the state we know today.
Check out this wonderful blog about the best coffee shops in Colorado springs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Known for their agility and balance, the sheep are found only in the Rockies, usually above timberline in rugged mountainous areas.
- Colorado currently doesn’t have a state fruit. Alamosa Republican state Senator Larry Crowder is trying to get the palisade peach and the Rocky Ford cantaloupe added to the roster.