Delphinium consolida L.

Garden Rocket

Delphinium consolida plant

Family - Ranunculaceae

Stems - To 1+ m, erect, sparsely pubescent with retrorse white hairs.

Leaves - Basal leaves absent at flowering. Stem leaves alternate, roughly orbicular, to 4 cm long, dissected 2 or 3 times, the ultimate segments 0.4-1.0 mm wide, linear, bluntly or sharply pointed.


Inflorescences - Terminal racemes, with the axis pubescent with scattered, retrorse hairs, the flowers on stalks to 5 cm, the bracts subtending the flower stalks all undivided or occasionally the lowermost 3-parted.




Flowers - Zygomorphic, usually perfect. Sepals 5, to 15 mm, petaloid, usually blue to purple to pink, the upper sepal spurred to 2 cm long, the lateral and lower sepals flat. Corolla of 2 petals fused into a single structure with 2 rounded lateral lobes and a strongly 2-cleft central lobe, 3-5 mm long, blue to purple to pink, the fused petals spurred, the spur enclosed in the spur of the upper sepal. Stamens not showy, the anthers yellow to almost black. Staminodes absent. Pistil 1, with 8-20 ovules. Style present, persistent at fruiting.



Delphinium_consolida_flower2Pink form.

Fruits - Follicles, roughly cylindrical, beaked, the body 10-13 mm long, glabrous.

Flowering - May - June.

Habitat - Forest margins, crop fields, escapes from cultivation.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Other info. - This species is rare in the state, having been collected from only one or two spots. The photos above may represent a hybrid form with Delphinium ajacis. These plants are common garden subjects. Delphinium consolida seed sometimes occurs as a contaminant in grain field seed, and thus is occasionally found growing with grain crops.

Photographs taken along the Katy Trail near Augusta, St. Charles County, MO, 4-28-2012, 5-9-2012, and 6-6-2015 (SRTurner).