WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Stems 27–40 inches tall have dense clusters of bright blue flowers with distinct spurs. Note the stem has a covering or fine hairs, leaves on entire stem at flowering, and the seed capsules are in a tight, erect (not spreading) cluster.


FLOWER: June–September. Spike-like clusters (racemes) have 15–40 flowers with tiny bracteoles below each flower. Flowers have 5 bright blue, hairy, petal-like sepals, 1 upper over the smaller petals, 2 lateral spreading sideways, 2 lower spreading downward; upper 2 petals blue and white; lower 2 petals blue, covered with curly, white hairs; spur straight, angled upward about 30 degrees; stamens partially exposed. The fruit cluster is tight, erect, not spreading.


LEAVES: Basal absent. Alternate stem leaves, present on full length of stem at flowering. Blades rounded in outline reaching 3-inches wide (8 cm) by 5 1/2-inches long (14 cm), with 5–21 narrow, deeply cut lobes.


HABITAT: Sandy, loamy moist soils, chaparral, meadows, forests; ponderosa pine-Douglas fir, spruce-aspen, alpine meadows.


ELEVATION: 6,500–11,200 feet.


RANGE: CO, NM, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Two other tall delphiniums with blue flowers in the northern mountains, D. barbeyi and D. robustum (see photos), have no leaves on the bottom portion of the  stem at flowering. Dwarf Larkspur, D. nuttallianum, is usually under 18-inches tall and has fruit with spreading, not erect, pods.


NM COUNTIES: Northern NM mountains in mid- to high-elevation, moist habitats: Colfax, Mora, Rio Arriba, Taos, Union.

MOUNTAIN  LARKSPUR

DELPHINIUM  RAMOSUM 

Buttercup Family, Ranunculaceae

Perennial herb

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  1. Spur with nectar glands for long-tongued pollinators (upper right arrow)

  2. Petal-like sepals (lower arrows)

  3. Upper white  petal;  lower blue, hairy petal (left arrows)

Fruit has erect seed capsules.

Leaves cover full length of stem at flowering.

Barbey's Delphinium

Delphinium barbeyi 

Robust Delphinium

Delphinium robustum 

SIMILAR SPECIES

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