Visit Colorado and you will come across its beautiful array of native plants. The state’s many habitats range from tundra to wetlands, from canyons to prairies, and everything in between. This means that there is remarkable variation in the native plants found in Colorado. This article will outline the most common and most characteristic plant types found naturally in the state.
Flowering plants are found in Colorado in generally sunny areas and grasslands. One example is the Aspen daisy, which has blue and violet flowers and is notably abundant throughout the state. The Colorado State flower, however, is the Colorado columbine, which has blue to lavender colored flowers. An example of a flowering plant that grows in Colorado’s dry climates is the prickly pear cactus, which flowers in orange, yellow, or pink, and is very spiny.
Every type of climate in Colorado is home to at least one species of native grass. Blue wild rye, for example, is found in the moist foothills of canyons, whereas buffalograss can grow six inches if provided full sunlight, and will even grow in clay soils. The blue grama is the state grass of Colorado and prefers sandy or gravelly soil.
One particularly eye-pleasing shrub is the Boulder raspberry, whose bold white flowers make the plant stand out. This shrub has berries that are edible, but are unpalatable to humans. Birds and other wildlife, however, are drawn to the fruits and can eat them. Other native shrubs include waxflower, hawthorn, and red osier dogwood. Colorado’s native trees can grow quite tall, especially the Ponderosa pine, which can grow up to one-hundred and fifty feet. Colorado is also home to plains cottonwood, Rocky Mountain juniper, Rocky Mountain maple, and smooth sumac trees.
Clearly, Colorado has an abundance of native plants, and this list merely scratches the surface. There is much more for you to learn about the topic, but the above information gave you a solid introduction to all that Colorado’s native plants have to offer.