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Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum

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 variegatumView Description 

Stem: generally < 50 cm, base hairy. Leaf: generally on proximal 1/3 of stem; petioles hairy; lobes 3--15, generally overlapping. Inflorescence: generally branched; pedicels +- ascending, 6--74 mm, 10--25 mm apart, generally puberulent. Flower: spur 10--19 mm, straight or down-curved < 3 mm at tip; lower petal blades each hairier on inner lobe than outer, and hairier on margins. Fruit: 9--19 mm; veins generally colored. Seed: winged.

Delphinium variegatum Torr. & A. Gray subsp. variegatum
Inflorescence: flowers on main axis generally < 10. Flower: sepals generally dark royal-blue (white or lavender), lateral 10--25 mm; lower petal blades 4--11 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=16,32.
Ecology: Grassland, open oak woodland; Elevation: 20--800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, se KR, NCoR, CaR, SNF, GV, SnFrB, SCoR. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Hybridizes with Delphinium hansenii, Delphinium hesperium, Delphinium parryi, Delphinium recurvatum; large flowers throughout, but especially northern from SnFrB.
Synonyms: Delphinium emiliae Greene; Delphinium variegatum subsp. apiculatum (Greene) Ewan; Delphinium variegatum var. apiculatum (Greene) Greene
Unabridged Note: If recognized taxonomically, plants with large flowers assignable to Delphinium variegatum f. superbum Ewan; study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Jason A. Koontz & Michael J. Warnock
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Previous taxon: Delphinium variegatum subsp. thornei
Next taxon: Enemion

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Citation for this treatment: Jason A. Koontz & Michael J. Warnock 2016. Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum
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© 2015 Barry Rice
Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Barry Rice
Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Barry Breckling
Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum
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© 2005 Christopher L. Christie

More photos of Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Delphinium variegatum subsp. variegatum:
NCo, se KR, NCoR, CaR, SNF, GV, SnFrB, SCoR.
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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