Plains Larkspur

© Iralee Barnard

 

Common Name: Plains Larkspur

Scientific Name: Delphinium carolinianum

Family: Buttercup

Longevity: Perennial

Height: 2 - 4 feet

Bloom Period:
May and June

 

 

 

Description: Stems are stiffly erect. Leaves are deeply divided into narrow, finger-like lobes. White or bluish-white, spurred flowers are scattered along a tall, wand-like spike.

Comments: The petal-like projection from the back of the larkspur flower forms a hollow, “spur” that suggests the long claw on a bird’s foot. The lower two petals are bearded with long white hairs. Larkspur lotion was once popular in American patent medicine for body lice. All parts of the plants are poisonous to humans and cattle, although sheep are not affected. Plains Larkspur is found statewide on open prairies.