Home page


Colorado state flagColorado

Bookmark and Share
Double click on word for definition.

Colorado State Cactus

Claret Cup Cactus Echinocereus triglochidiatus Adopted: March 07, 2014
Colorado state cactus
Colorado State Cactus: Claret Cup Cactus
Photograph: Dave Powell, USDA, United States, Bugworld.org

Four girls from Douglas County Girl Scout Troop 2518, in Castle Rock, were behind the effort that resulted in the official adoption of the claret cup cactus as Colorado's official state cactus. Their work earned the girls the Girl Scout Silver Award for Girl Scout Cadettes, which is a leadership award earned by working to meet a community need.

The girls originally proposed that the kingcup cactus be named the official cactus of the state but the State Senate substituted "claret cup cactus" for "kingcup cactus." Claret cup cactus is just another name for the kingcup cactus.

Perhaps the legislators preferred the sound of claret cup cactus better of felt it was more descriptive of the plant's beautiful floral display. The ACT indicates that "claret cup" may have been thought of as the more well-known name for Echinocereus triglochidiatus.

NOTE: This bill has been prepared for the signatures of the appropriate legislative officers and the Governor. The Governor signed this bill on March 07, 2014.

Act graphic

HOUSE BILL 14-1024

BY REPRESENTATIVE(S) Murray, Conti, Court, Fields, Fischer, Gardner, Gerou, Ginal, Hamner, Holbert, Hullinghorst, Kraft-Tharp, Labuda, Landgraf, Lawrence, Melton, Mitsch Bush, Priola, Ryden, Schafer, Singer, Williams; also SENATOR(S) Schwartz, Crowder, Johnston, Nicholson, Roberts, Scheffel, Todd.


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

SECTION 1. Legislative declaration. (1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(a) The Echinocereus triglochidiatus cactus, more commonly known as the claret cup cactus, is native to Colorado and is found in the state's varied habitats, from low, dry land to rocky slopes and mountain woodlands;

(b) The claret cup cactus grows in elevations from four hundred ninety feet to nine thousand eight hundred fifty feet;

(c) The claret cup cactus is considered one of the easiest varieties of cactus to grow and is very popular in rock gardens;

(d) The claret cup cactus is widely cultivated for its beautiful flowers;

(e) The primary pollinators of the flowers of the claret cup cactus are hummingbirds because the long-tubed shape of the flowers can accommodate the hummingbirds' long beaks and their whirring wings; and

(f) The fruit of the claret cup cactus is edible.

(2) It is therefore the intent of the general assembly that the claret cup cactus be added to the array of symbols that demonstrate our state character and pride.

SECTION 2. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 24-80-915 as follows:


SECTION 3. Act subject to petition - effective date. This act takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 6, 2014, if adjournment sine die is on May 7, 2014); except that, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to section 1 (3) of article V of the state constitution against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part will not take effect unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in November 2014 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor.

Capital letters indicate new material added to existing statutes; dashes through words indicate deletions from existing statutes and such material not part of act.

The claret cup cactus became the official state cactus of Colorado when Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill No. 14-1024 at a signing ceremony at the State Capitol on March 07, 2017.

The official state cactus of Colorado, claret cup cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus), is also called the kingcup cactus, claretcup cactus, claret-cup cactus, hedgehog cactus or the Mojave mound cactus.


Briggs, Austin. "Scout troop seeks official state status for kingcup cactus." The Denver Post. The Denver Post, 07 Jan 2014. Web. 11 Mar 2014.

"Summarized History for Bill Number HB14-1024." Colorado State Legislature. State of Colorado, 07 Mar 2014. Web. 11 Mar 2014. .

"Bill, Resolutions and Memorial Documents HB14-1024." Colorado State Legislature. State of Colorado, 07 Mar 2014. Web. 11 Mar 2014. .

Additional Information

Colorado state cactus
Colorado State Cactus Bill Signing Ceremony
Photograph: Colorado Girl Scouts, March 07, 2014

CalPhotos Photo Database: CalPhotos is a project of The Biodiversity Sciences Technology group, part of the Berkeley Natural History Museums at The University of California, Berkeley.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus Engelm. (kingcup cactus): USDA, NRCS. 2014. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 11 March 2014). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus: The University of Texas at Austin: Native Plant Database.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus (Mound Hedgehog Cactus): Encyclopedia of Life. Available from http://www.eol.org. Accessed 11 Mar 2014.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus Engelm.: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Here you will find authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Colorado state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties
Succulents Simplified
Debra Lee Baldwin

Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties, by Debra Lee Baldwin. 272 pages. Publisher: Timber Press; 5.5.2013 edition (May 21, 2013)

Succulents Simplified is a complete primer on choosing, growing and designing with succulents. Along with gorgeous photos packed with design ideas, Debra offers her top 100 plant picks and explains how to grow and care for succulents no matter where you live. Step-by-step projects, including a cake-stand centerpiece, special-occasion bouquets, a vertical garden, and a succulent topiary sphere, will inspire you to express your individual style. Whether you're a novice or veteran, have an acre to fill or a few pots, wherever you live, Succulents Simplified is a solid primer for success with succulents.

Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents
Complete Book of
Cacti & Succulents

Terry Hewitt

Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents, by Terry Hewitt. 176 pages. Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (October 7, 1993)

The Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents features the history, cultivation, and imaginative use of more than 300 plants -- in step-by-step color stages. This is a feast of in-depth information and eye-catching photography.

The Gardener's Guide to Cactus: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes
The Gardener's
Guide to Cactus

Scott Calhoun

The Gardener's Guide to Cactus: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes, by Scott Calhoun. 248 pages. Publisher: Timber Press (January 31, 2012)

Cactus can be easy, hardy, and rewarding for everyone -- not just specialists.

This book shows readers how easy, hardy, and rewarding cactus can be for everyone -- not just specialists. Succulent plant expert Scott Calhoun picks 100 of the best cactus available and shows how they can make striking additions to your garden or serve as dazzling container specimens.

Whether you want striking form, gorgeous flowers, or a low-maintenance plant for a spot that needs little or no supplementary water, you'll find it in this friendly, informative, eye-catching guide.

  • Detailed descriptions of the 100 best cactus for gardens
  • Stunning photos
  • Expert advice on planting and care
  • How to show cactus
  • Tips for growing cactus in containers
  • Best tools and planting media
  • How to identify and avoid pests
  • Helpful lists of spineless, culinary, and scented cactus