Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Delphinium nuttallianum
thin-petal larkspur, upland larkspur

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Dry, gravelly ground, sagebrush deserts to the ponderosa pine region in the mountains.

Flowers: March-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Pubescent perennial from fleshy roots, the stems 1.5-4 dm. tall, usually single and simple.


Leaves few, long-petiolate, mostly basal, the blades 2-6 cm. broad, 2-4 times parted or lobed into linear or oblong-lanceolate segments 1.5-5 mm. broad; cauline leaves much reduced upward.


Inflorescence simple or compound, the racemes 3-15 flowered; the lower pedicels several times as long as the flowers, spreading or ascending; sepals 5, deep purplish-blue, widely spreading, 17-25 mm. long, the lower pair the largest; the spur 13-20 mm. long, from about as long to twice as long as the top sepal; petals 4, small, the lower pair sometimes brownish or yellow-purplish, or all deep purplish-blue, the blade 3-4 mm. long, deeply bi-lobed; stamens numerous; pistils 3.


Follicles 15-22 mm. long, somewhat spreading.


Specimen records from west of the Cascade Mountains need to be re-examined.

Accepted Name:
Delphinium nuttallianum Pritz.
Publication: Repert. Bot. Syst. 1: 744. 1842.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Delphinium menziesii DC. ssp. utahense ined.
Delphinium menziesii DC. var. utahense S. Watson
Delphinium nuttallianum Pritz. var. fulvum C.L. Hitchc. [HC]
Delphinium nuttallianum Pritz. var. levicaule C.L. Hitchc.
Delphinium nuttallianum Pritz. ex Walp. var. nuttallianum [HC]
Delphinium pauciflorum Nutt.
Delphinium sonnei Greene
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Delphinium nuttallianum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Delphinium nuttallianum checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Delphinium nuttallianum information.

E-Flora BC: Delphinium nuttallianum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Delphinium nuttallianum photos.

USDA Plants: Delphinium nuttallianum information.

113 photographs:
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