Delphinium tricorne Michx. - Dwarf Larkspur

Delphinium tricorne plant

Family - Ranunculaceae

Stems - To +45cm tall, glaucous, mostly glabrous but pubescent in and near inflorescence, hollow, herbaceous, somewhat succulent, reddish at very base, from a thick root, typically simple.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petioles of lower leaves to 15cm long, hollow, sparsely to moderately pubescent. Blade pubescent above and below, with ciliate margins, to +15cm broad, +8cm long, palmately lobed, each lobe again divided. Ultimate leaf divisions 2-3mm broad, linear to lanceolate.

Delphinium tricorne leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal raceme to 15cm tall(long). Pedicels subtended by attenuate bract. Bracts to 9mm long, 2mm broad at base.

Delphinium tricorne inflorescence

Flowers - Pedicels to 2cm long, densely pubescent. Corolla zygomorphic, typically +/- 3.5cm long and broad.  Calyx of 5 sepals. Sepals deep blue-purple(violet) to whitish. Upper sepal with spur to 2cm long. Petals 4. Lateral petals bearded on outside and slightly covering stamens. Upper petals spurred, to -2cm long, lighter blue-purple to whitish. Stamens +/-20. Anthers brownish-black, to 1.5mm long. Filaments white, glabrous, to +6mm long, flattened below and broadest at base. Ovaries pubescent, 4mm long, 1.2mm in diameter.

Delphinium tricorne flower

Fruit - Follicles up to 2cm long, 3 per flower.

Delphinium trichorne fruits

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Rich, moist woods, slopes, ravines, streambanks.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - Everyone likes this genus because of the interesting and striking flowers. D. tricorne is a fairly small plant but it produces great color. Many pants in the genus are cultivated.
This species can be toxic.
Steyermark lists the above plant as form tricorne, having flowers which are all deep blue or with some white. A second form, form albiflora Millsp., has flowers which are entirely white. I think a third form may also exist, but I don't know what it is.
Here's a look at a white perianth:

Delphinium trichorne white

Photographs taken at the Hercules Glade Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-21-00, by Tom's Creek, NC., 4-20-03, and at Reform Conservation Area, Callaway County, MO., 4-13-04.


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