WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

With spikes of 10–30 bright-blue flowers like tiny flags decorating 2–4-foot-tall stems, this Delphinium stands out in open forests and moist meadows at upper elevations. Note the lower stems have fine, short hairs, and a prominent spur extends behind the blue flowers.


FLOWERS: May–June. Spike-like clusters (racemes) on upper stem, flowers bright, dark-blue to purple, with 5 showy sepals that surround 4 small, white and blue petals. The upper sepal and 2 enclosed petals form a 1/2–3/4 inch long (15–20 mm), upward-pointing spur behind the flower that contains the nectary to attract pollinators. The fruit is in a tight, erect, not spreading, cluster.


LEAVES: Basal present when blooming, blade rounded, 2-inches long and wide (50 mm), palmately divided with about 5 segments to 1/4-inch wide (5 mm), each segment with 3 or more pointed lobes. Alternate stem stem leaves, mostly on lower 1/3 of stem, surfaces hairless.


HABITAT: Moist sandy, gravel loams, meadows, roadsides; ponderosa-fir, spruce-aspen forests.


ELEVATION: 6,300–10,500 feet.


RANGE: AZ, NM.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The tall stems with fine, short hairs on lower half, dark blue to purple flowers, and smooth, hairless leaves help distinguish this species. Subalpine Larkspur, D. barbeyi, in northern NM mountains, has hairy flowers and leaves. Dwarf Larkspur, D. nuttallianum, in northern and western NM, is shorter with a 6–12 inch stalk, a basal rosette and a few lower stem leaves, and a spreading cluster of fruit.


NM COUNTIES: Western half of NM in mid- to high-elevation, moist habitats: Catron, Cibola, Grant, McKinley, Rio Arriba, Sierra, Socorro.

ROCKY  MOUNTAIN  LARKSPUR

DELPHINIUM  SCOPULORUM

Buttercup Family, Ranunculaceae

Perennial herb

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Range Map for

Delphinium scopulorum

Basal and stem leaves with pointed lobes are present when blooming.

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