The beautiful white and lavender Columbine (Aquilegia caerules) was established as the state flower of Colorado back in the late 19th century. Also called the Rocky Mountain Columbine, this flower is protected in Colorado with a law that declares its protection as a duty of the state's citizenry.
Title 1, Part 9, Section 24-80-906 reads:
It is hereby declared to be the duty of all citizens of this state to protect the white and lavender Columbine Aquilegia Caerulea, the state flower, from needless destruction or waste.
The statute further declares that it is unlawful, punishable by up to 50 bucks, to rip the plant out of the ground, or to excessively pick the flowers along roadsides or on public lands. It is even unlawful to pick the flower on private land, unless you get the landowner's permission first.
Very adaptable, Columbine plants do well in our area under a variety of conditions, but they thrive if you give them a well draining, rich, moist soil with morning sun and afternoon shade. You can prolong their blooming time into late June and even to mid-July if you remove fading flowers. Your beloved hummingbirds will thank you with a million wing flutters!