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Delphinium leucophaeum

pale larkspur, white rock larkspur

hedgenettle larkspur, Rocky Mountain larkspur, spike larkspur, Umatilla larkspur


30-60 cm.

(40-)70-150(-200) cm;

base reddish, puberulent.


blade light green, ± round, 2-8 × 3.5-11 cm, sparsely pubescent; ultimate lobes 7-19, width 1-8 mm, apex tapering to point;

veins obscure.


(14-)30-60(-102)-flowered, dense, cylindric;

pedicel spreading, 0.8-2(-3) cm, puberulent;

bracteoles 1-4 mm from flowers, green, linear, 2-7(-10) mm, puberulent.


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

lower petal blades 4-6 mm.

sepals bright blue, puberulent, lateral sepals spreading, 9-13 × 4-7 mm, spurs straight, within 30° above or below horizontal, 11-17 mm;

lower petal blades ± covering stamens, 4-8 mm, clefts 0.5-2 mm;

hairs sparse, centered, mostly near junction of blade and claw above base of cleft, white.


10-15 mm, 3.5-4.5 times longer than wide, puberulent.



seed coat cells with margins straight, surfaces ± roughened.


= 16.

Delphinium nuttallii subsp. ochroleucum

Delphinium stachydeum

Phenology Flowering late spring. Flowering summer.
Habitat Rock outcrops, rocky meadows Swales in Artemisia scrub
Elevation 50-100 m (200-300 ft) 1300-3000 m (4300-9800 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
from FNA
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[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.)

Populations of Delphinium stachydeum are widely scattered in isolated mountain ranges surrounded by desert or grassland. The species has been reported (visual sightings) from northwestern Utah; no specimens have been seen from there. Hybrids between D. stachydeum and D. glaucum have been reported. Although D. stachydeum has been seen flowering within 30 m of flowering D. depauperatum, no hybrids have been observed.

Delphinium stachydeum may possibly be confused with D. geyeri, from which it may be distinguished by its usually greater plant size, less pubescent foliage, and later flowering date. Delphinium stachydeum also may be confused with D. glaucum; see discussion under that species.

(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. Wislizenana
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. parryi, D. patens, D. polycladon, D. purpusii, D. ramosum, D. recurvatum, D. robustum, D. sapellonis, D. scaposum, D. scopulorum, 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. scopulorum var. stachydeum, D. confertiflorum, D. umatillense
Name authority (Nuttall) M. J. Warnock: Phytologia 78: 98. (1995) (A. Gray) Tidestrom: Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 27: 61. (1914)
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