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Red Larkspur
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Delphinium nudicaule

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About Red Larkspur (Delphinium nudicaule) Delphinium nudicaule is a flowering plant known by the common names red larkspur, orange larkspur, and canyon delphinium. It sends up long, stringy thin stems with few leaves and bears attractive larkspur flowers in shades of red and orange. It is native to the low elevation canyons, foothills, and slopes of California and Oregon. The flowers attract hummingbirds. The root of the plant has been historically used as a medicinal narcotic, chiefly by the Mendocino Native Americans.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.49 - 4 ft (0.15 - 1.2 m)

Flower Color
Orange, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist talus, wooded, rocky slopes:

Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
3' - 7086'

Annual Precip. ?
11.1" - 133.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 3.85"

Coldest Month ?
29.6° F - 51.7° F

Hottest Month ?
53.6° F - 77.6° F

Humidity ?
0.05 vpd - 26.02 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers moist clay or heavy soil


Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 5, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; 1 mo. stratification may improve germination.

Common uses
Hummingbird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Common Names
Orange Larkspur, Canyon Delphinium

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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