E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Delphinium menziesii DC.
Menzies' Larkspur
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jeremy Gatten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9360)

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Distribution of Delphinium menziesii
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Delphinium menziesii ssp. menziesii

Species Information

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Perennial herb from tuberous roots; stems slender, erect, simple or branched above, 35-70 cm tall, minutely-hairy, sometimes glandular, bases often reddish.
At time of flowering the basal leaves none to 4 and stem leaves 3 to 7, alternate, stalks 0.5-11 cm long, blades round, 1.5-5 cm long, 3-9 cm wide, reduced upward, palmately divided, the leaflets incised into narrowly oblong to linear segments, the ultimate segments 5 to 18 and 2-15 mm wide on basal leaves, 1-10 mm wide on stem leaves, entire, minutely-hairy.
Inflorescence a 3- to 15-flowered, terminal raceme, the flowers bilaterally symmetric; bracts linear, green to bluish, 4-6 mm long, minutely-hairy; flower stalks ascending, 1.5-4 cm long, minutely-hairy, sometimes glandular; petals 4, the upper 2 united, pale blue to white, spurred, enclosed in upper sepal, nectary inside spur, the lower petals 2, blue, mostly covering stamens, clawed, 8-12 mm long, shallowly notched at tip, the hairs white or blue, sparse, mostly near junction of blade and claw; sepals 5, blue to purple, minutely-hairy, the lateral two spreading, 13-20 mm long, 5-11mm wide, the lower two similar to lateral, the upper one spurred, the spur straight, 11-17 mm long; pistils 3.
Follicles, 11-17 mm long, 3.5- to 4-times longer than wide, minutely-hairy; seeds obpyramidal, winged, smooth.
Toxic; known to cause livestock poisoning.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry grassy bluffs, meadows and forest openings in the lowland and lower montane zones; common in SW BC; S to OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Delphinium menziesii

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) 24 278 1560
Slope Gradient (%) 0 41 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
23 175 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(25), ESSF(1), IDF(2), PP(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References