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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

RANUNCULACEAE

BUTTERCUP FAMILY

Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]

DELPHINIUM

LARKSPUR

Michael J. Warnock

Perennial; root generally < 10 cm, ± fibrous or fleshy; buds generally obscure
Stem generally 1, erect, generally unbranched; base generally ± as wide as root, generally firmly attached to root, generally ± reddish or purplish
Leaves simple, basal and cauline, petioled; blades generally palmately lobed, deep lobes generally 3–5, generally < 6 mm wide, generally also lobed; lower leaves generally dry, often 0 in flower; cauline merging into bracts upward
Inflorescence: raceme or somewhat branched, terminal; flowers generally 10–25; pedicels generally ± spreading
Flower bilateral; sepals 5, petal-like, generally spreading, generally ± dark blue, uppermost spurred; petals 4, << sepals, upper 2 with nectar-secreting spurs enclosed in uppermost sepal, lower 2 clawed, with blades generally 4–8 mm, notched, generally ± perpendicular to claws, generally colored like sepals, generally obviously hairy; pistils 3(–5)
Fruit aggregate of 3(–5) erect follicles, generally 2.5–4 X longer than wide
Seed dark brown to black, often appearing white, generally winged when immature, generally without inflated collar; coat cell margins generally straight
Etymology: (Latin: dolphin, from bud shape)
Reference: [Lewis & Epling 1954 Brittonia 8:1–22]
Hybrids common, especially in disturbed places. Root length here includes coarse but not thread-like parts. Most species highly TOXIC, attractive and causing many deaths to cattle, less often to horses, sheep.
Horticultural information: Exc as noted, successful In cultivation only within natural range and habitat. Lowland subsp.: DRY. Upland species: winter chilling required.

Native

D. parryi A. Gray

Root sometimes > 10 cm
Stem 15–110 (generally < 80) cm, generally curled-puberulent, especially below
Leaves generally curled-puberulent; basal present or 0 in flower; lobes 5–27, generally < 6 mm at widest
Inflorescence: flowers 3–60; pedicels 5–68 mm, 8–50 mm apart, ± ascending, generally puberulent
Flower: sepals reflexed or not, lateral 9–25 mm, spur 8–21 mm; lower petal blades 3–10 mm
Fruit 10–19 mm
Seed winged, otherwise ± bumpy
Ecology: Chaparral, open woodlands
Elevation: 0–2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Tehachapi Mountain Area, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: n Baja California

Native

subsp. eastwoodiae Ewan

EASTWOOD'S LARKSPUR

Root < 10 cm
Leaves basal and cauline in flower, mostly on lower third of stem; lobes 5–15
Flower: sepals generally reflexed, lateral 11–20 mm, spur 11–17 mm; lower petal blades 6–9 mm
Ecology: Uncommon. Coastal chaparral, grassland, serpentine
Elevation: 100–500 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Central Coast, Outer South Coast Ranges (San Luis Obispo Co.?)
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY; DFCLT.

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