USA Newspapers Official Colorado State Flower

White & Lavender Columbine

(Aquilegia caerulea)
Adopted on April 4, 1899.


The white and lavender Columbine, Aquilegia caerules, was adopted as the official state flower on April 4, 1899 by an act of the General Assembly. In 1925, the General Assembly made it the duty of all citizens to protect this rare species from needless destruction or waste. To further protect this fragile flower, the law prohibits digging or uprooting the flower on public lands and limits the gathering of buds, blossoms and stems to 25 in one day. It is unlawful to pick the columbine on private land without consent of the land owner.


Citation: Senate Bill 261, 1899, Bill, 1925; Colorado Revised Statutes 24-80-905 through 24-80-908.
  1. Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9
  2. Height: 3 ft Spacing: 15 in
  3. Type: herbaceous perennial
  4. Flowers: Blue and white

The two-inch blue or blue and white flowers of this columbine are the Colorado state flower. Do not expect the plant to be long-lived if planted in hot sites. Provide a partially shaded growing area with a moist, well-drained soil. Beautiful species native to the Rocky mountains with blue and white flowers May thru June

Propagation: Propagation is by seed or division.


  1. 'Blue Bird' - A selection of the 'Songbird Series' with light blue and white flowers (Vis. 1).
  2. Dwarf Fantasy Series' - Flowers in blue, pink, purple and white. The plants are very small, only 4 inches tall.
  3. 'Heavenly Blue' - Blue flowers, plant to 3 feet tall.
  4. 'Rostern' ('Red Star') - Red and white flowers.
References for Cultivars: Bailey Nurseries 1997, Midwest
Groundcovers 1999.


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae ?
Order Ranunculales ?
Family Ranunculaceae ? Buttercup family
Genus Aquilegia L. ? columbine
Species Aquilegia caerulea James ? Colorado blue columbine
Variety Aquilegia caerulea James var. ochroleuca Hook. ? white Colorado columbine