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Delphinium leucophaeum

pale larkspur, white rock larkspur

Delphinium distichum

Burke's larkspur, meadow larkspur, strict larkspur, two-spike larkspur


30-60 cm.

(25-)30-60(-80) cm;

base sometimes reddish, puberulent.


blade cuneate to semicircular, 1-5 × 1.5-7 cm, puberulent; ultimate lobes 5-19, width 2-8(-15) mm (basal), 0.5-3(-5) mm (cauline);

margins of basal leaf, measured less than 1 cm from blade base, demarcating considerably more than 90° of arc when leaf laid flat;

most cauline leaf blades exceeding internodes.


8-30(-40)-flowered, usually dense;

pedicel 0.5-1.5 cm, puberulent;

bracteoles 0-3 mm from flowers, green to blue, linear, 4-8 mm, puberulent.


sepals white or light yellow, spurs 9-11 mm;

lower petal blades 4-6 mm.

sepals dark blue to bluish purple, puberulent, lateral sepals ± erect, 8-12 × 3.5-5 mm, spurs straight, horizontal or nearly so, 9-15 mm;

lower petal blades ± covering stamens, 4.5-6.5 mm, clefts 2-3 mm;

hairs centered mostly near base of cleft, white.


7-13 mm, 3.5-4 times longer than wide, ± puberulent.


seed coat cells with surfaces roughened.


= 16.

= 16.

Delphinium nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum

Delphinium distichum

Phenology Flowering late spring. Flowering late spring–early summer.
Habitat Rock outcrops, rocky meadows Wet meadows
Elevation 50-100 m (200-300 ft) 100-2400 m (300-7900 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]

Of conservation concern.

The range of morphologic features of Delphinium nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum (D. leucophaeum) is almost completely encompassed within that of D. nuttallii subsp. nuttallii. Sepal color is the only feature consistently separating the two subspecies. Were it not for the fact that any given population typically has plants of only one flower color, a rank of forma would be more appropriate.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Delphinium distichum hybridizes with D. multiplex and D. nuttallianum (D. ×diversicolor Rydberg). The name D. burkei has often been misapplied to D. distichum.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 3. FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Ranunculaceae > Delphinium > sect. Diedropetala > subsect. Grumosa > Delphinium nuttallii Ranunculaceae > Delphinium > sect. Diedropetala > subsect. Depauperata
Sibling taxa
D. nuttallii subsp. nuttallii, D. nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum
D. alabamicum, D. alpestre, D. andersonii, D. andesicola, D. antoninum, D. bakeri, D. barbeyi, D. basalticum, D. bicolor, D. brachycentrum, D. californicum, D. cardinale, D. carolinianum, D. decorum, D. depauperatum, D. elatum, D. exaltatum, D. geraniifolium, D. geyeri, D. glareosum, D. glaucescens, D. glaucum, D. gracilentum, D. gypsophilum, D. hansenii, D. hesperium, D. hutchinsoniae, D. inopinum, D. lineapetalum, D. luteum, D. madrense, D. menziesii, D. multiplex, D. newtonianum, D. novomexicanum, D. nudicaule, D. nuttallianum, D. nuttallii, D. parishii, D. parryi, D. patens, D. polycladon, D. purpusii, D. ramosum, D. recurvatum, D. robustum, D. sapellonis, D. scaposum, D. scopulorum, D. stachydeum, D. sutherlandii, D. treleasei, D. tricorne, D. trolliifolium, D. uliginosum, D. umbraculorum, D. variegatum, D. viridescens, D. wootonii, D. xantholeucum
Synonyms D. menziesii var. (ß) ochroleucum, D. leucophaeum D. strictum var. distichiflorum
Name authority (Nuttall) M. J. Warnock: Phytologia 78: 98. (1995) Geyer ex Hooker: J. Bot. 6: 68. (1847)
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