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Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens
Delphinium carolinianum Walter ssp. virescens (Nutt.) R.E. Brooks
Carolina Larkspur, Prairie Larkspur, Plains Larkspur
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Synonym(s): Delphinium albescens, Delphinium carolinianum ssp. penardii, Delphinium penardii, Delphinium virescens, Delphinium virescens ssp. penardii, Delphinium virescens var. macroceratilis, Delphinium virescens var. penardii
USDA Symbol: DECAV2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Prairie larkspur is a slender, erect perennial, unbranched or branched near the ground to form a clump 1-3 ft. tall. A terminal spike of white, spurred flowers, tinged purple, is borne well above the mostly basal, deeply cleft leaves.
Mature plants may disappear in hot weather, reappearing when the weather has become cooler.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AR , CO , IA , KS , MN , MO , ND , NE , OK , SD , TX , WI
Native Distribution: Alt. to WI, s. to AZ & AL
Native Habitat: Prairies; dry, open woodlands
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Various mesic to dry, limey soils.
Conditions Comments: Mature plants may disappear in hot weather, reappearing when the weather has become cooler.
BenefitUse Medicinal: Seeds ground and soaked in alcohol to kill head lice.
Warning: Plants of the genus Delphinium contain toxins, and no parts of them should ever be eaten. They can be fatally poisonous to both humans and animals. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Bumble Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Sow fresh seeds in fall or dry stratifited seed in May. Germination may take months. Adult plants can be divided in spring.
Seed Collection: Collect seed in May.
Seed Treatment: Very slow-growing and vulnerable to damping off. Seed out in Nursery bed, rather than growing in greenhouse.
Commercially Avail: yes
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1081 Collected May 10, 1996 in Guadalupe County by Elizabeth W. Hughes
NPSOT 0167 Collected Apr. 24, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-06
Research By: TWC Staff