Friday, April 23, 2010

USA - Colorado - State Flower (2)

Among the most honored state flowers is the rare and delicate Columbine, Colorado's state flower.

Sent by Ian from Colorado.

This is from Wikipedia : Aquilegia is a genus of about 60-70 species of columbines, herbaceous perennial plants that are found in meadows, woodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are known for their distinctive flowers, generally bell-shaped, with each petal modified into an elongated nectar spur. Its fruit takes the form of a follicle. Columbine is derived from the Latin word for Dove.

Columbines are closely related to plants in the genera Actaea (baneberries) and Aconitum (wolfsbanes/monkshoods), which like Aquilegia produce cardiogenic toxins.

They are used as food plants by some Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) caterpillars. These are mainly of noctuid moths – noted for feeding on many poisonous plants without harm – like Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae), Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae) and Mouse Moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis). The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), a geometer moth, also uses columbine as larval foodplant.

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