Did you know about Colorado's State Cactus?

I enjoy learning about the plants and creatures that live in our area, one of the things about that is that I don't often get out and check those things out because I am running from place to place, so when I had an opportunity to work a project that happened to be out of town a ways, I took the chance to explore a little in my off hours. 

What I stumbled across was these little beauties. 

I knew it was a cactus, but I was curious as to whether or not I could cultivate some at home. Thankfully, local photographer Mary Meinen had provided me with the name of these little scarlet cactus flowers- they are Claret Cup Cacti. The name is aptly given with their cup like shape. 

What I discovered with these little guys is that they are pollinated by hummingbirds, which are attracted to the large amount of nectar, and of course the bright color. Click here to learn more about growing a Claret Cup Cactus

What I also learned was that this beautiful breed of cactus is Colorado's State Cactus, givent hat status in 2014 when Girl Scouts petitioned Gov. John Hickenlooper with help from the Denver Botanic Gardens and Representative Carole Murray. Read more about that here!