A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum)

Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR, 3/2015.

Rowena Plateau, Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR, 3/2015.

If you’re seeing larkspur now (early spring) in the Northwest, chances are that it’s this variety.  Also called “Common Larkspur”.Since this is (unbelievably) our first larkspur/delphinium post, we should note the following:  “Larkspur” is used to refer to delphinium (a perennial species) as well as consolida (an annual species).  The latin name refers to the resemblance of the flower’s nectary to the shape of a dolphin.  All members of the genus are very poisonous, and notably dangerous to cattle, who can quickly die from grazing on a small amount.  We should also note a similar sounding (and looking) variety nuttallii, called Nutall’s Larkspur, blooms later, mostly east and south of the Cascades.  Both species were named after the English botanist Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), who travelled in Oregon.  Larkspurs are difficult to identify and can hybridize with other varieties.


One response

  1. Beautiful flowers. They are gorgeous when you look at them up close, aren’t they!

    March 30, 2015 at 7:27 pm

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