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Delphinium tricorne Michx.
Dwarf Larkspur, Spring Larkspur
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
USDA Symbol: DETR
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Finely cut, palmately lobed leaves and loose clusters of spurred, bluish purple to white flowers characterize this 12-30 in. perennial. An open cluster of flowers top an unbranched, fleshy stem with deeply cleft leaves.
The species name refers to the three horn-like fruit pods. The flower structure is similar to that of Rocket Larkspur (Consolida ajacis), which is often cultivated in gardens and may escape to roadsides and waste places; it has only one pistil. Spring Larkspur is the most frequently seen species of Delphinium east of the Plains states. Tall Larkspur (D. exaltatum) reaches a height of 6' (1.8 m) and is leafier, with more flowers; it occurs from Ohio and Pennsylvania south to North Carolina and Tennessee, and in Missouri.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , DC , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MD , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: PA to IA, s. to GA, AL, AR & e. OK
Native Habitat: Moist woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Rich, moist soils.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed or division.
Seed Collection: Seeds are formed dry in a pod, which call for close observation in order to collect seeds before they are thrown out.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
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 tricorne in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Delphinium tricorne in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Delphinium tricorne
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-06
Research By: TWC Staff