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.

 

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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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