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Delphinium patens subsp. patens

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3--6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0--many, generally free; stamens generally 5--many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1--many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, generally +- persistent as beak, ovules 1--many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, +- utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1--many-seeded.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: DelphiniumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: LARKSPUR
Habit: Perennial herb; root generally < 10 cm, +- fibrous or fleshy; rootstock buds in life generally obscure (0 or obscure on herbarium specimens). Stem: erect, generally 1, generally unbranched; base generally +- as wide as, generally firmly attached to root, generally +- red or purple. Leaf: simple, basal and cauline, petioled; blades generally palmately lobed, deep lobes generally 3--5, generally < 6 mm wide, generally also lobed; cauline proximal generally dry, generally 0 in flower, distal merging into bracts. Inflorescence: raceme or +- 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 (limbs) generally 4--8 mm, 2-lobed, generally +- perpendicular to claws, generally colored like sepals, generally obviously hairy especially on lobes proximally, inner and outer lobes of each blade generally equally hairy; pistils 3(5). Fruit: follicles 3(5), erect, length generally 2.5--4 × width. Seed: generally winged in youth, collar inflated at widest end or generally not, dark brown to black, generally appearing white; coat cell margins generally straight.
Species In Genus: +- 300 species: arctic, northern temperate, subtropics, tropical mountains worldwide; 3 commonly cultivated as ornamental in North America. Etymology: (Latin: dolphin, from bud shape) Toxicity: Most species highly TOXIC, attractive to, killing many cattle, fewer horses, sheep. Note: Hybrids common, especially in disturbed places. Root length is of coarse parts only.
eFlora Treatment Author: Jason A. Koontz & Michael J. Warnock
Species: Delphinium patensView Description 

Habit: Root +- ellipsoid to diffuse-fibrous. Stem: base generally narrower than root, not firmly attached, +- glabrous. Leaf: generally on lower 1/3 of stem, +- glabrous; terminal lobe widest near middle. Inflorescence: pedicels 10--78 mm, generally > 10 mm apart. Flower: sepals reflexed, bright or dark blue. Fruit: 12--23 mm, +- curved. Seed: smooth, shiny, collar inflated.

Delphinium patens Benth. subsp. patens
Stem: 10--90 cm. Leaf: basal, lower cauline divided > 80% to petiole; lobes 3--5, generally < 15 mm wide. Inflorescence: pedicels generally glabrous. Flower: lateral sepals 9--20 mm, spur 10--15 mm; lower petal blades 4--6 mm, each generally hairier on inner lobe than outer. Chromosomes: 2n=16.
Ecology: Grassland, open woodland; Elevation: 80--1100 m. Bioregional Distribution: s NCoR, SN, GV, SnFrB, n SCoR. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun Note: Hybridizes with Delphinium decorum, Delphinium nudicaule, Delphinium variegatum.
Synonyms: Delphinium decorum Fisch. & C.A. Mey. var. patens (Benth.) A. Gray
eFlora Treatment Author: Jason A. Koontz & Michael J. Warnock
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Citation for this treatment: Jason A. Koontz & Michael J. Warnock 2016. Delphinium patens subsp. patens, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Delphinium patens subsp. patens
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Delphinium patens subsp. patens
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Delphinium patens subsp. patens
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Delphinium patens subsp. patens
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Delphinium patens subsp. patens
click for enlargement
© 2003 Barry Breckling
Delphinium patens subsp. patens
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling

More photos of Delphinium patens subsp. patens in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Delphinium patens subsp. patens:
s NCoR, SN, GV, SnFrB, n SCoR.
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.