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Delphinium leucophaeum

pale larkspur, white rock larkspur

Parry's larkspur, San Bernardino larkspur


30-60 cm.

(10-)40-80(-110) cm;

base reddish, puberulent.


blade pentagonal, 1-7 × 2-10 cm, ± puberulent; ultimate lobes 3-27, width 1-20 mm (basal), 0.5-5 mm (cauline).


(2-)8-24(-48)-flowered, cylindric;

pedicel ± spreading, (0.5-)1-3(-6.8) cm, usually puberulent;

bracteoles 2-7(-16) mm from flowers, green to blue, lance-linear, 2-6(-10) 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 spreading or reflexed, (7-)10-20(-25) × 4-9 mm, spurs straight, ascending 0-30° above horizontal, 9-17(-21) mm;

lower petal blades slightly elevated, ± exposing stamens, 3-10 mm, clefts 2-6 mm;

hairs mostly near base of cleft, centered or on inner lobes, white.


10-19 mm, 2.8-4 times longer than wide, puberulent or glabrous.


seed coat cells ± brick-shaped, cell margins undulate, surfaces ± roughened.


= 16.

Delphinium nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum

Delphinium parryi

Phenology Flowering late spring.
Habitat Rock outcrops, rocky meadows
Elevation 50-100 m (200-300 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
from USDA
North America (Calif)
[WildflowerSearch map]
[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.)

Subspecies 5 (5 in the flora).

A number of local phases are found in Delphinium parryi. Five of these appear consistently distinct and are recognized here. Other phases may be locally distinct but grade into other nearby phases. Delphinium parryi hybridizes with D. cardinale (D. ×inflexum Davidson).

The Kawaiisu used the ground root of Delphinium parryi medicinally as a salve for swollen limbs (D. E. Moerman 1986, no subspecies specified).

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

1. Basal leaves usually absent at anthesis.
→ 2
1. Basal leaves usually present at anthesis.
→ 3
2. Lateral sepals 16–25 mm.
D. parryi subsp. blochmaniae
2. Lateral sepals 9–15 mm.
D. parryi subsp. parryi
3. Lateral sepals 7–11 mm; above 700 m elevation.
D. parryi subsp. purpureum
3. Lateral sepals (9–)12–20 mm; below 700 m elevation.
→ 4
4. Sepals usually reflexed.
D. parryi subsp. eastwoodiae
4. Sepals usually spreading.
D. parryi subsp. maritimum
Source FNA vol. 3. FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Ranunculaceae > Delphinium > sect. Diedropetala > subsect. Grumosa > Delphinium nuttallii Ranunculaceae > Delphinium > sect. Diedropetala > subsect. Subscaposa
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. 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. 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
Subordinate taxa
D. parryi subsp. blochmaniae, D. parryi subsp. eastwoodiae, D. parryi subsp. maritimum, D. parryi subsp. parryi, D. parryi subsp. purpureum
Synonyms D. menziesii var. (ß) ochroleucum, D. leucophaeum
Name authority (Nuttall) M. J. Warnock: Phytologia 78: 98. (1995) A. Gray: Bot. Gaz. 12: 53. (1887)
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