LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) _ Columbine High School, scene of Tuesday's deadly school shooting, is named after the resilient mountain blossom that is Colorado's state flower.

It's a perennial that grows about 18 inches high in moist soil, and it withstands cold, windy conditions on mountain slopes. Its silky, bell-shaped blossoms come in shades of blue, white, yellow and pink, making it a popular native plant for alpine gardens.

The columbine was documented on July 10, 1820, by Edwin James prior to climbing Pikes Peak. Colorado students chose it as the state's flower in 1891.

In 1925, state lawmakers voted to protect the columbine. It is illegal to pick more than 25 columbine buds in one day, or to uproot the plant.

The state song is ``Where the Columbine Grows.''

More than 100 businesses, organizations and public buildings use the flower in their names.