Parish's Larkspur

Common Names:
Desert Larkspur, Parish's Larkspur, Lark's Heel
Scientific name:
Delphinium parishii
Subspecies | Variants:
Delphinium parishii ssp. pallidum, Delphinium parishii ssp. parishii, Delphinium parishii ssp. subglobosum
Elevation range:
600 - 9,000 ft
Flowering Months:
February, March, April, May, June
Height | Length:
1-2 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Perennial
Pollinator or food source for:
Notes:
TOXIC
Ancestral Usage:
medicinal
State Occurrences:
Parks & Preserves:
Desert region:
Mojave, Sonoran

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Parishs Larkspur in the desert

Delphinium parishii flowers have 5 purple petals, each with a darker spot or dimple near the outer edge. Dark pink flower buds have a backward-extending sepal called a spur.  Pipes Canyon | May 2010

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Parishs Larkspur in the desert

Delphinium parishii is a beautiful plant but is toxic. Note the drying fruit in the background. Pipes Canyon | May 2010

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Parishs Larkspur in the desert

Delphinium parishii used this Encelia as a nurse plant to shelter seedlings from harsh sun or water erosion. As it gained its footing, it produced long stems to allow it to reach the sun above the Encelia. Pipes Canyon, CA | May 20, 2010

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Parishs Larkspur in the desert

Delphinium parishii sometimes has a reddish stem and leaves. Leaves are divided into narrow lobes, mostly occurring at the base of the plant. Pipes Canyon, CA | April 2015