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Delphinium leucophaeum

pale larkspur, white rock larkspur

dwarf, meadow, Nuttall's larkspur, or Sonne's larkspur, slim, thin-petal larkspur, two-lobe larkspur, upland larkspur

Stems

30-60 cm.

unbranched, 10-40(-70) cm;

base reddish, pubescence variable.

Leaves

blade round, 1-6 × 2-12 cm, nearly glabrous; ultimate lobes 5-21, 5 or more extending more than 3/5 distance to petiole, width 1-7(-14) mm (basal), 0.5-6 mm (cauline), widest at middle or in proximal 1/2.

Inflorescences

4-18(-48)-flowered, at least 2 times as long as wide;

pedicel 0.8-6 cm, pubescence variable;

bracteoles 3-8(-18) mm from flowers, green to blue, linear, 3-7 mm, pubescence variable.

Flowers

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

lower petal blades 4-6 mm.

sepals usually bluish purple, rarely white to pink, puberulent, lateral sepals reflexed or spreading, 8-21 × 3-10 mm, spurs decurved to straight, ascending 20-60° above horizontal, 8-23 mm;

lower petal blades elevated, exposing stamens, blue to purple, except sometimes in white-flowered plants, 4-11 mm, clefts 2-5 mm;

hairs mostly on inner lobes below junction of blade and claw, white, rarely yellow.

Fruits

7-22 mm, 3.5-5 times longer than wide, glabrous to puberulent.

Seeds

winged or not;

seed coat cell surfaces smooth or roughened, blunt hairs absent.

2n

= 16.

= 16.

Delphinium nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum

Delphinium nuttallianum

Phenology Flowering late spring. Flowering spring (-early summer).
Habitat Rock outcrops, rocky meadows Open coniferous woods, grassy sage scrub, meadow edges and well drained streamsides (generally not in very wet sites)
Elevation 50-100 m [200-300 ft] 300-3500 m [1000-11500 ft]
Distribution
from FNA
OR
[WildflowerSearch map]
from FNA
AZ; CA; CO; ID; MT; NM; NV; OR; UT; WA; WY; BC
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

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 nuttallianum represents an extremely difficult complex, with many variations in a number of morphologic traits. The complex has been and continues to be a major source of confusion for identification of Delphinium in North America. Type specimens of D. nuttallianum represent plants growing under dry conditions in open areas. These are typically found at 1200-2000 m in sage scrub or lower montane forest. Delphinium nuttallianum may be confused with D. andersonii, D. antoninum, D. depauperatum, D. gracilentum, and two subspecies of D. patens (subsp. patens and subsp. montanum). Features that may be used to separate D. nuttallianum from the first four, are enumerated under the respective species discussions. From D. patens subsp. patens, D. nuttallianum may be distinguished by its narrower leaf lobes, larger fruits, and more compact inflorescence. The frequent presence of glandular hairs in the inflorescence of D. patens subsp. montanum, contrasted with their absence in D. nuttallianum, will separate these taxa. Dwarfed plants of D. polycladon may be confused with D. nuttallianum. The latter, however may be distinguished by its ringed seeds, and it does not have prominent buds or sigmoid pedicel.

Hybrids have been seen between Delphinium nuttallianum and D. andersonii, D. depauperatum (D. ×burkei Greene), D. distichum (D. ×diversicolor Rydberg), D. nudicaule, and D. polycladon.

(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. Grumosa
Sibling taxa
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. 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
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. 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. 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. pauciflorum, D. nuttallianum var. fulvum, D. nuttallianum var. levicaule, D. sonnei
Name authority (Nuttall) M. J. Warnock: Phytologia 78: 98. (1995) Pritzel: in Walpers, Repert. Bot. Syst. 1: 744. (1842)
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