Time of bloom: June to August.
Seed-time: July to September.
Range: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, southward to Florida; locally in the Northern
States. Habitat: Fields, roadsides, and waste places.
A lovely plant, both in leaf and flower, brought to this country to beautify our gardens and growing wild as an "escape." In Europe its leaves are reputed to be poisonous to cattle, particularly when the plant is young and growing rapidly, but in this country it is regarded as far less dangerous than the native perennial Larkspurs so common in the West.
Stems erect, smooth or nearly so, one to two feet in height, the branches spreading at wide angles. Leaves deep green, sessile or with very short petioles, palmately compound, the lobes again divided into numerous linear, cleft segments. Flowers in loose, terminal racemes, blue or violet-purple, sometimes lilac or white; they are very irregular, with five colored sepals, the upper one extending into a long, curved spur at the base; petals two in this species, with base enclosed in the spur of the calyx and united. Fruit a single erect, smooth follicle, tipped with a slender beak formed of the persistent style, and containing many angled, roughened, black seeds, which are sometimes an impurity of grass seeds and grain. (Fig. 111.)
Fig. 111. -Field Larkspur (Delphinium Consolida). X 1/5.
Small areas and plants in grain fields are best destroyed by hand-pulling at the time of first flowering, when the weed is most conspicuous among surrounding crops. Infested meadows, waste land, and roadsides should be closely cut while the plants are in early bloom, thus preventing reproduction.