White Rock Larkspur (Delphinium leucophaeum): Classification, Habitat, Characteristics, General Description, Floral Characteristics, and Fruits  

White Rock Larkspur (Delphinium leucophaeum): Classification, Habitat, Characteristics, General Description, Floral Characteristics and Fruits  


The Ranunculaceae tribe Delphinieae includes 385 species of the genus Delphinium L., most of which are found in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and mountainous regions of equatorial Africa (Ilarslan et al. 1997). In the Flora Iranica region, this genus has 53 species, 29 of which have been documented from Iran (Iranshahr 1992). In the northeast of Iran (Khorassan), Afghanestan, and Turkmenistan, the plant Delphinium semibarbatum grows (Iranshahr 1992). This species was acknowledged as a synonym of D. zalil in Flora Iranica (Iranshahr 1992) and Flora of the USSR (Nevskii 1937), but Parsa (1951) and IPNI considered these two species to be separate species (International Plant Names Index).


Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Ranunculales

Family: Ranunculaceae

Genus: Delphinium

Species: D. leucophaeum

Scientific Name: Delphinium leucophaeum

Common Name(s): White Rock larkspur or Pale larkspur.


The white rock larkspur grows along the borders of oak forests, in dry roadside ditches, on basalt cliffs, along river banks and bluffs, on damp rocky slopes, and in moist lowland meadows. When compared to the soils found in the Pacific Northwest, it prefers loose, shallow soils that are typically 5-7 cm deep, have a high organic matter content and include a lot of sand. At an elevation of 40–150 m (125–500 ft), it can grow on slopes ranging from flat plateaus to cliffs, in open, exposed places, or in quite heavily sheltered locations.


1. White rock larkspur or pale larkspur are two frequent names for the endangered larkspur species Delphinium leucophaeum.

2. The 20–60 cm tall white rock larkspur is a thin perennial species that emerges from a mass of tubers.

3. On the stem, there are several leaves with long petioles and lobed blades that are evenly spaced out.

4. The inflorescence is a little raceme that has six to thirty nonglandular flowers on it.

5. The sepals are white to cream in colour, cupped forward or spread laterally, and may have a hint of greenish blue on the back and greenish colour at the tip.

6. The upper petals are bluish to lavender-tipped, while the bottom petals are white or have a very faint bluish tinge.

7. The follicles are non-glandular, puberulent, and 0.8–1.2 cm long.

General Description

Slender perennial with globose to barely fusiform tubers arranged in a tiny cluster. 20–100 cm tall, single, easily detached from the tubers, not at all fistulose, often finely crisp-puberulent all over. The leaves are fairly numerous, evenly spaced along the stem, long-petiolate, and have blades that are 3- 6(10) cm wide, palmatifid into (typically) 5 main segments that are narrowly oblong-cuneate and typically have shallow lobes. The final segments are linear to narrowly lanceolate and are 1-2(3) mm wide. Simple to compound, open, racemes with six to thirty flowers and leafy, bracteate foliage below; pedicels often longer than the spur and occasionally even longer. Flowers with sepals ranging in colour from white to cream, occasionally with a hint of greenish-blue on the back, drying to yellow with greenish or yellowish ends, crisp-puberulent, not glandular, widely flared, with the lateral pair measuring 9 to 14 mm long and oblong to ovate-oblong; Lower petals are white (or very slightly bluish-tinged), pilosa but not at all glandular, the blade is broadly obovate, sinus is 1-1.5 mm deep, and upper petals are bluish-to-lavendertipped. The spur is 10-14 mm long. Follicles are 8–12 mm in length, puberulent, and lack glands; seeds are 1.5–2 mm long, with pronounced winged angles.

Floral Characteristics

Racemes that have 6 3 0 flowers. Flowers that are not glandular are white to cream in colour, perhaps with a greenish-blue tint on the back, and they dry to yellow with green or yellowish tips. Sepals 5; upper ones creating a protruding spur 1–4 mm long (often less than 1–2 mm); lateral pair 9–4 mm long. Two-pair petals: upper petals may have lavender margins, lower petals white or just bluish with a notched tip. blossoms from May through June.

Fruits: 8 to 2 mm long, hairy, and non-glandular follicles. May to August for fruits.

Tips for Identification: West of the Cascades, D. pavonaceum is the only other larkspur with white or cream-coloured blooms. It has glandular blooms, at least on the lower petals, and a longer spur (1 4) 1 5 -2 0 mm in length.

White Rock larkspur Versus Delphinium pavonaceum

White rock larkspur differs from Delphinium pavonaceum, the only other white-flowered larkspur west of the Cascades, by having a shorter habit (20-60 cm as opposed to 30-90 cm), smaller flower parts (lateral sepals 9-14 mm as opposed to 12-18 mm, spur 10-14 mm as opposed to 14-20 mm), forward-cupped sepals (as opposed to reflexed in D. pavonaceum), a narrow (versus glandular with a hairy tuft at the base of the blade). D and White Rock Larkspur are quite similar. nuttallii, although the white sepals of the earlier species easily set it apart from its congener with blue sepals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is larkspur blue or purple?

Ans: Most frequently, this perennial produces purple, blue, or white blooms.

Question: Where do you find larkspur?

Ans: The high plains of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico are where you may mostly find plains larkspurs.

Question: What month is the larkspur flower?

Ans: July’s

Question: Is larkspur toxic to dogs?

Ans: Yes

Question: Is it easy to grow larkspur?

Ans: Yes

Question: Can larkspur grow in shade?

Ans: The ideal growing conditions for larkspur are full sun to partial shade.

Question: What animal eats larkspur?

Ans: Cattle

Question: Is larkspur poisonous to children?

Ans: Yes, All Parts

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