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Delphinium nudicaule

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

dwarf larkspur, rock larkspur

Stems

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

base reddish, glabrous.

20-60 cm;

base often reddish, nearly 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, 2-8 × 4-12 cm, nearly glabrous; ultimate lobes 3-18, 5 or more extending more than 3/5 distance to petiole, width 2-10 mm (basal), 4-10 mm (cauline), widest at middle or in proximal 1/2.

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.

5-15(-30)-flowered, less than 3 times longer than wide;

pedicel 1-2.5 cm, puberulent;

bracteoles 1-4(-6) mm from flowers, green, linear, 3-5 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 deep bluish purple to pink or white, puberulent, lateral sepals spreading, 11-19 × 4-7 mm, spurs straight, within 30° of horizontal, 13-16 mm;

lower petal blades ± covering stamens, blue, except sometimes in white-flowered plants, 6-10 mm, clefts 0.5-2 mm;

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

Fruits

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

14-22 mm, 4-4.5 times longer than wide, nearly glabrous.

Seeds

unwinged or sometimes slightly wing-margined;

seed coat cells with surfaces smooth.

unwinged;

surface of each seed coat cell with 1-5 small, swollen, elongate, blunt, hairlike structures, barely visible at 20x, otherwise smooth.

2n

= 16.

= 16.

Delphinium nudicaule

Delphinium tricorne

Phenology Flowering late winter–early summer. Flowering spring.
Habitat Moist talus, cliff faces Slopes in deciduous forests, thicket edges, moist prairies
Elevation 0-2600 m [0-8500 ft] 10-1500 m [0-4900 ft]
Distribution
from FNA
CA; OR
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AL; AR; DC; GA; IA; IL; IN; KS; KY; MD; MO; MS; NC; NE; OH; OK; PA; SC; TN; VA; WV
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county 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.)

Delphinium tricorne is the most commonly encountered larkspur east of the Great Plains.

The Cherokee prepared infusions of Delphinium tricorne to ingest for heart problems, although they believed the roots of the plant made cows drunk and killed them (D. E. Moerman 1986).

(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. 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. 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. 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. trolliifolium, D. uliginosum, D. umbraculorum, D. variegatum, D. viridescens, D. wootonii, D. xantholeucum
Synonyms D. armeniacum
Name authority Torrey & A. Gray: Fl. N. Amer. 1: 33. (1838) Michaux: Fl. Bor.-Amer., 314. (1803)
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