Montana Outdoors

May 4, 2010

Montana Larkspur

Montana Larkspur

Montana Larkspur

Montana LarkspurMontana larkspur, Delphinium bicolor, Buttercup family

The showy part of these flowers are actually the five sepals, and the four petals form a small cluster in the center of the flower. The top sepal forms a hollow spur which produces nectar. but because of the depth of the spur, it is accessible only to insects with long feeding structures such as butterflies and bumblebees.

Larkspurs contain delphinine which is poisonous to cattle and highly toxic to humans.


  1. Those are so pretty. My mom wouldn’t let us grow larkspur when I was little because she said one seed could kill you. Don’t know if that is true or not, but I most definitely grow larkspur now!


    Comment by kateri — May 4, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

    • I’ve read that they are quite toxic, but I really don’t know how to quantify that. We have had delphiniums in our flower beds for a long time, but we would be pretty careful if there were small children around, and we were when our kids were little. They really are pretty!


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  2. During my kindergarten years in Oregon, we had these in the yard. I always liked them, but thank goodness it never occurred to me to eat one of them. “Larkspur Salad” doesn’t sound good, even if it had ranch dressing on it.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 4, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

    • They don’t look like something I’d want to eat either. I’ve never heard of a child having a problem with them, but I have heard of ranchers having problems with their cattle eating them.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

  3. Neat post. I didn’t know that Larkspur was poisonous to humans & cattle. Awesome photos.
    – Song of the wolf


    Comment by songofthewolf — May 4, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

  4. Another royal purple flower, pretty color.


    Comment by Candace — May 4, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    • They are a deep enough purple that they are easy to spot at a distance. There is no mistaking them.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  5. The DOF in that last one is gorgeous!!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — May 4, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    • Thanks! That was one that turned out as I hoped it would. 1/200 sec @ f4.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  6. Poisonous? Oh my! But so pretty to see!


    Comment by Barbara — May 5, 2010 @ 11:32 am

    • They do brighten things up. They like more open areas, dry hillsides that need a little color.


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

  7. I love love love that deep purple color!


    Comment by Tricia — May 5, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  8. Yes, I have heard that. Lots of things in my garden could be deadly, and I am careful.

    I remember my Dad removing several different plants from the hay pastures. One was jimson weed, now I wish I knew what the others were. That was when I lived in Oklahoma. The only cows I see around here, are at dairys.


    Comment by sandy — May 5, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

    • There are no cattle where these are growing, but there are some just across a fence line, however I haven’t seen any Larkspur in there.

      We also have Death Camas in pretty good numbers. The ranches seem to have gotten rid of them too though.


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  9. Wow, it looks like spring has sprung in your parts. I’m making some quick rounds tonight and see all of your beauties the past week. Just beautiful!


    Comment by kcjewel — May 5, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

    • It’s back to winter at the moment (24 last night and chance for snow tonight). The flowers are continuing to bloom though.


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

  10. Very pretty looking flower. In our garden we have some Delphiniums, but I am not sure if is this one. Anyway it is in flower in late June or in August.


    Comment by sartenada — May 9, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

    • We also have Delphiniums in our flower gardens but they are much different than this one and they also flower later in the summer. I’ve not seen this one in a domestic setting and of course because of its toxicity the ranchers try to eradicate it from their range. There are still lots around though.


      Comment by montucky — May 10, 2010 @ 12:02 am

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