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Delphinium leucophaeum

pale larkspur, white rock larkspur

candle larkspur, candle larkspur (vascan: harms 2006), larkspur


30-60 cm.

40-200 cm;

base green, pubescent or glabrous.


blade round to pentagonal, 3-15 × 6-22 cm, ± puberulent; ultimate lobes 3-9, width 8-30 mm.



pedicel 1-3(-5) cm, glabrous to pubescent;

bracteoles 2-5(-9) mm from flowers, green, linear, 5-9 mm, ± puberulent.


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

lower petal blades 4-6 mm.

sepals blue, white, or purple, ± puberulent, lateral sepals spreading, 12-23 × 4-12 mm, spurs straight, ascending ca. 45° above horizontal, 15-22 mm;

lower petal blades elevated, exposing stamens, 3-5 mm, clefts 0.2-1 mm;

hairs sparse or dense, mostly near center of blade, yellow or white.


13-20 mm, 3.5-4.5 times longer than wide, ± puberulent.



seed coats ± with small wavy ridges, cells elongate, surface roughened.


= 16.

Delphinium nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum

Delphinium elatum

Phenology Flowering late spring. Flowering summer, more than 8 weeks after snowmelt.
Habitat Rock outcrops, rocky meadows Old homesites
Elevation 50-100 m (200-300 ft) 50-3000 m (200-9800 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
from FNA
BC; MB; SK; and probably elsewhere; native to Europe and w Asia [Introduced in North America]
[BONAP county 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 elatum is cultivated as a garden plant or for cut flowers. It is not known to be naturalized extensively in North America; it may persist long after cultivation in cooler parts of the region.

(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. Elatopsis > subsect. Elata
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. distichum, 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
Name authority (Nuttall) M. J. Warnock: Phytologia 78: 98. (1995) Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 531. (1753)
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