Delphinium species

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Scientific Name Delphinium barbeyi USDA PLANTS Symbol DEBA2
Common Name Subalpine Larkspur ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 18539
Family Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills to alpine (8000 to 12700 ft.); open areas in meadows, along streams and near ponds.
Plant: Erect perennial with leafy hollow stems up to 5 feet tall, in colonies.
Leaves: Stem leaves on petioles that are short or up to 5-1/2 inches long; large leaves, smooth and palmately-dissected into 5 to 9 segments, each segment then further divided.
Inflorescence: Elongated terminal raceme of 10 to 50 blossoms each connected to the stem via short pedicels; deep purple sepals surrounding petals with white edges; upper sepal has spur extending rearward, 3/8 to 3/4-inch long.
Bloom Period: July to September.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, "Guide to Colorado Wildflowers" by G.K. Guennel and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Delphinium geyeri USDA PLANTS Symbol DEGE2
Common Name Geyer's Larkspur ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 18555
Family Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains and foothills (5000 to 7500 ft.); dry, sandy or rocky hillsides and sagebrush slopes.
Plant: Erect perennial with unbranched stems 8 to 28 inches tall; minutely hairy stems; growing in colonies.
Leaves: Basal and stem leaves with light green blades, overall roundish in outline, 3/8 to 2 inches across, deeply palmately-cleft into multiple, narrow, densely pubescent segments, tips tapering to a point; basal leaves have wider lobes than stem leaves.
Inflorescence: Raceme of 6 to 30 (or even more) blossoms; 5 bright blue spreading sepals, 3/8 to almost 3/4-inch long and 4 shorter bright blue petals that may have a whitish tinge, the upper two petals (or the sepals) extending backward to form a spur; the spur is straight or slightly bent downward and 3/8 to 3/4-inch long; multiple stamens and yellow-brownish anthers partially obscured by lower petals.
Bloom Period: June and July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, Flora of North America and Montana Field Guide.
Note: Toxic to livestock (cattle and horses, especially) and is often eradicated in pasturelands.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Delphinium nuttallianum USDA PLANTS Symbol DENU2
Common Name Nuttall's Larkspur, Two-lobed Larkspur ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 18483
Family Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills and montane (5500 to 10800 ft.); meadows, open woodlands, sagebrush slopes.
Plant: Erect perennial with unbranched stems 4 to 16 inches tall, in colonies.
Leaves: Basal and alternate lower stem leaves round in outline, deeply palmately-cleft into 5 to 12 segments that are further divided into narrowly-oblong or linear lobes.
Inflorescence: Raceme of 4 to 18 (or more) blossoms, bluish-purple sepals and petals, rarely white (as in photos below) or pink; upper sepal has spur ~5/8-inch long extending rearward.
Bloom Period: April to July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, American Southwest and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2021