Delphinium glaucum S. Watson
tall larkspur (Sierra larkspur)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #11612)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Delphinium glaucum
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Species Information

Perennial herb from a thick, tough rootstock; stems 1 or more, hollow, erect, (60) 100-200 cm tall, mostly smooth, with a bloom, bases green.
All stem leaves, alternate, 15 to 20 at time of flowering, stalks 1-14 cm long, blades round to 5-sided, 2-11 cm long, 3-18 cm wide, palmately divided into 5 (7) main broadly wedge-shaped segments, the segments shallowly 2- to 3-times lobed or toothed, the ultimate segments 5 to 9 (15) and 5-24 (35) mm wide, smooth.
Inflorescence a 10- to 90-flowered, narrow, terminal raceme, sometimes branched, the flowers bilaterally symmetric; bracts linear, green to bluish, 2-7 mm long, smooth or minutely-hairy; flower stalks ascending, 1-3 cm long, smooth to minutely-hairy; petals 4, the upper 2 united, pale within, blue-streaked outside, spurred, enclosed in upper sepal, nectary inside spur, the lower petals 2, pale to dark blue, mostly covering stamens, clawed, 4-6 mm long, 2-lobed, cleft 1-3 mm, the hairs white, centred near base of cleft; sepals 5, usually bluish purple to lavender, minutely-hairy, the lateral two pointing forward to spreading, 8-14 mm long, 3-6 mm wide, the lower two similar to lateral, the upper one spurred, the spur straight, 10-15 mm long; stamens 20 to many; pistils 3.
Follicles, 9-20 mm long, 3.5- to 4.5-times longer than wide, smooth to minutely-hairy; beaks straight, about 3 mm long; seeds pale to dark brown, winged, shining.
Toxic; known to cause livestock poisoning.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Delphinium glaucum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1124 6 2240
Slope Gradient (%)
16 0 262

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

174 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 1 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(12), BAFA(20), BWBS(293), CWH(1), ESSF(139), ICH(5), IDF(8), MS(7), SBPS(1), SBS(113), SWB(143)

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic open forests, thickets, meadows and tundra from the montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, except southernmost BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to MB and S to UT, CO, NV and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Delphinium brownii Rydb.
Delphinium scopulorum A. Gray
Delphinium scopulorum var. glaucum (S. Watson) A. Gray