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Delphinium nudicaule

canyon delphinium, canyon larkspur, orange larkspur, red larkspur, red or orange larkspur, scarlet larkspur

Anderson larkspur, Anderson's larkspur, desert larkspur

Stems

(15-)20-50(-125) cm;

base reddish, glabrous.

(20-)30-60(-90) cm;

base reddish, glabrous.

Leaves

blade round to pentagonal, 2-6 × 3-10 cm; ultimate lobes 3-12, width 5-40 mm (basal), 2-20 mm (cauline).

blade round, 1.5-4 × 2-6 cm, nearly glabrous; ultimate lobes 5-30, width 2-8 mm (basal), 1-4 mm (cauline);

lobe width of proximal leaves less than 4 mm.

Inflorescences

5-20(-69)-flowered;

pedicel (1.5-)2-6(-8) cm, glabrous to glandular-pubescent;

bracteoles 14-20(-30) mm from flowers, green to red, linear, 2-4(-9) mm, glabrous to puberulent.

10-25-flowered, cylindric;

pedicel sigmoid (proximally spreading, distally ascending), 1-4(-6.8) cm, glabrous to puberulent;

bracteoles 2-6(-8) mm from flowers, green, linear, 4-6(-11) mm, ± puberulent.

Flowers

sepals scarlet to reddish orange, rarely dull yellow, glabrous, lateral sepals forward-pointing to form pseudotube, (6-)8-13(-16) × 3-6 mm, spurs straight, slightly ascending, (12-)18-27(-34) mm;

lower petal blades elevated, exposing stamens, 2-3 mm, clefts 0.5-1 mm;

hairs sparse, evenly dispersed, yellow.

sepals dark blue, nearly glabrous, lateral sepals spreading to reflexed, 9-16 × 3-7 mm, spurs horizontal to slightly ascending, often decurved apically, 12-18 mm;

lower petal blades elevated, ± exposing stamens, 4-8 mm, clefts 1-4 mm;

hairs centered, mostly between claw and base of cleft, white.

Fruits

13-26 mm, 3.5-4.5 times longer than wide, glabrous.

17-32 mm, 4-5.5 times longer than wide, glabrous.

Seeds

unwinged or sometimes slightly wing-margined;

seed coat cells with surfaces smooth.

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

2n

= 16.

= 16.

Delphinium nudicaule

Delphinium andersonii

Phenology Flowering late winter–early summer. Flowering late spring–early summer.
Habitat Moist talus, cliff faces Talus, cold desert scrub, often growing up through shrubs, low places where snow collects
Elevation 0-2600 m [0-8500 ft] 1300-2000 m [4300-6600 ft]
Distribution
from FNA
CA; OR
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
CA; ID; MT; NV; OR; UT
[WildflowerSearch map]
Discussion

Delphinium nudicaule hybridizes with most other taxa of Delphinium that it encounters. Apparent hybrids involving D. nudicaule, and seen by the author (either afield or as specimens), include D. andersonii, D. antoninum, D. decorum, D. luteum, D. nuttallianum, D. patens, and D. trolliifolium. In addition, garden-grown plants have been hybridized with D. cardinale, D. elatum, D. menziesii, D. parishii, D. penardii, D. tatsienense Franchet, D. triste Fischer ex de Candolle, and D. uliginosum; D. nudicaule does not naturally occur with these species. Delphinium nudicaule is one of the earliest larkspurs to flower in any given locality. Douglas's type collection of D. nudicaule represents plants (synonyms D. sarcophyllum Hooker & Arnott and D. peltatum Hooker, an invalid name) grown under very moist conditions, probably quite near the ocean. The type specimen of D. armeniacum A. Heller represents plants grown under unusually dry conditions.

The Mendocino Indians consider Delphinium nudicaule a narcotic (D. E. Moerman 1986).

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

In much of its range Delphinium andersonii hybridizes occasionally with members of the D. nuttallianum complex and apparently with D. parishii in at least one site in California. These three taxa, with D. scaposum, form an interesting group in that they appear to be ecological replacements for one another, with D. parishii occupying arid, hot deserts to the south and southwest, D. andersonii growing in cooler, higher latitude and altitude deserts farther north, D. scaposum in cool deserts farther east, and D. nuttallianum at higher elevations in much of the geographic range of the other three species. Delphinium andersonii is often mistaken for D. nuttallianum. Most individuals of D. andersonii (roots much larger and more fibrous; stems solidly attached to roots; fruits long, narrow, erect; inflorescences usually longer and narrower at base; and pedicel sigmoid) can easily be distinguished from D. nuttallianum (roots smaller and not fibrous; stems tenuously attached to roots; fruits shorter, proportionally thicker, spreading; inflorescences relatively shorter and wider at base; and pedicel nearly straight).

Although roots of Delphinium andersonii are quite similar to those of D. antoninum, the two taxa may be readily distinguished by most features that separate D. nuttallianum from D. andersonii. The name Delphinium menziesii was misapplied to D. andersonii by S. Watson.

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

Source FNA vol. 3. FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Ranunculaceae > Delphinium > sect. Diedropetala > subsect. Bicoloria Ranunculaceae > Delphinium > sect. Diedropetala > subsect. Subscaposa
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. 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. 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
Synonyms D. armeniacum D. andersonii subsp. cognatum
Name authority Torrey & A. Gray: Fl. N. Amer. 1: 33. (1838) A. Gray: Bot. Gaz. 12: 53. (1887)
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