Colorado has a number of climate zones, depending on the area of the state. From high alpine meadows to deserts and the semi-arid eastern slope around Denver, many flowers native to one particular area can be cultivated in others. However, when growing flowers from a wetter part of the state in a more arid part, water may become an issue in the drier years when watering restrictions are in place.
Colorado Blue Columbine
Colorado blue columbine (Aquilegia caerulea), sometimes called Rocky Mountain columbine, is a clumping perennial herb that is usually less than 3 feet high and wide. It features pale blue petals and white petals that are usually 2 to 3 inches across. The Colorado blue columbine flowers from late spring to early summer. It grows well in partial shade and moist soil that drains well. It prefers rich loams or sandy loams and does best at moderate elevations.
The Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) is an upright perennial native to Colorado and surrounding states. It grows to between 3 and 10 feet tall and blooms between July and October. It grows up to 6,500 feet in elevation and prefers full sun. A low moisture flower, the Maximilian sunflower is well suited to xeriscaping. Maximilian sunflowers are very tolerant of soil type. However, it can spread aggressively in moister soils.
The Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) is a 6- to 12-inch-tall and 12- to 24-inch-wide clumping plant that produces numerous 1-inch-wide daisy-like flowers. Looking very much like a white zinnia, the Blackfoot daisy is native to Colorado and other surrounding states. As a low to moderate water needs flower, it can work in some xeriscaping locations. It prefers full sun, but can grow in partial shade. Growing well in rock gardens, this plant is tolerant of most soil types as long as they drain well. However, it will produce more flowers in rich, loamy soil that gets adequate water. This plant is deer resistant and, as such, is frequently planted in rural and foothills areas where deer can be a garden pest.