Is it illegal to pick the state flower Columbine in Colorado?

Is it illegal to pick the state flower Columbine in Colorado?

It’s legal to pick columbines, but only under certain conditions. The state has protected this lavender-white flower with teardrop-shaped petals since 1925, when lawmakers made it illegal to pick Aquilegia caerulea, the flower’s scientific name, on all state-controlled lands, including parks.

However, the collection of up to 25 columbine stems, buds or flowers per day is permitted. Columbines can be collected without restrictions on private land, but state law requires obtaining permission first.

Picking wild flowers is prohibited in all national parks.

The Colorado General Assembly adopted the columbine as the state flower in 1899 after school children picked it in a statewide contest.

While collecting them is legal, state parks and wildlife officials have stated that collecting wildflowers harms the ecosystem and urge hikers to “look, but don’t touch.”

This brief fact sheet responds to conversations like this.

See the full list of sources below.


Wildflower Viewing, Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Source link.
Visit and learn, Colorado General Assembly. Source link.
Flower picking in Rocky Mountain National Park, National Park Service. Source link.

Story Type: Fact Check

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Justin George graduated from Columbine High School in 1995. He has worked as a reporter for six news organizations, including the Boulder Daily Camera, the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post. Email him at [email protected] More from Justin George