[Larkspurs: The Genus Delphinium East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur

Delphinium distichum

Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum

Flower of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

The photo above shows a close-up sideview of a flower of meadow larkspur as seen on slopes above the old ski area in the Simcoe Mts., several miles northwest of Satus Pass in south-central Washington...........June 16, 2007.

Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)The photo at right shows meadow larkspur as seen along US 97 through the Yakima Indian Reservation in south-central Washington. Note the dense cluster of stem leaves below the inflorescence...........June 22, 1997.
Characteristics:

Meadow larkspur is an attractive perennial wildflower with one or occasionally several erect, leafy stems arising 40-70 cm high from a cluster of fleshy roots. The herbage consists of a dense minute pubescence and occasionally some glandular hairs above. The stems are generally not hollow. The basal and stem leaves both appear different. Both have petioles at least equaling the length of the blade. The lower leaf blades range from 4-6 cm wide and are divided into 3 broad segments which are twice dissected into wide lobes. The leaves of midstem are very numerous and overlap each other. The petioles are short and hold the blades erect and near the stem. Their blades are finely dissected into linear segments. The basal leaves generally have dried by flowering time.

The inflorescence is a dense spike (simple to compound) of many closely spaced flowers. The calyx is bright blue, the oblong sepals about 1 cm long and much shorter than the straight spur. The sepals are cupped forward rather than flared to the sides. The lower petals are blue and long-hairy, lobed about 1/3 their length. The upper petals are a pale blue or almost white. The pedicels are shorter than the spur(which ranges from 11-17 mm long) and strongly ascending.


Habitat:

Meadow larkspur is found in vernally moist areas such as swales and wet meadows in both sagebrush or ponderosa pine forest. It frequently is found at springs which dry up by summertime.


Range:

Meadow larkspur may be found east of the Cascade Mt. crest from British Columbia south to the Columbia River and east to Idaho and north central and northeastern Oregon.


Inflorescence of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum) - Meadow Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonym: Delphinium burkei) - Inflorescence of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

The photo at left shows a close-up of the inflorescence of meadow larkspur along a vernal stream at Brooks Memorial State Park.....June 4, 2021. Meadow larkspur as seen at center in the upper Naneum Creek drainage, Wenatchee National Forest...........July 2009. The photo at right shows the inflorescence of meadow larkspur as seen along the Stubblefield Trail, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.......July 4, 2018.


Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum) - Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum) - Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

Meadow larkspur in bloom in drainages dropping in to Rock Creek along Box Canyon Road, East Simcoe Mountain Unit of the Klickitat Wildlife Area......July 1 2020.
Stem leaf of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)
An upper stem leaf of meadow larkspur from a plant seen along FS Rd 21, Umatilla NF............July 1, 2001.

Lower leaf of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)


Lower leaf of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)
A lower leaf from meadow larkspur as seen from Jackman Park CG on the Steens Mt............ 8/3/95.

Flowers of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

The photo above shows several flowers of meadow larkspur as seen on slopes above the old ski area in the Simcoe Mts., several miles northwest of Satus Pass in south-central Washington............June 16, 2007. Note that the flowers should be a dark blue, similar to the color of that seen below.

Sideview of the flowers of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum) - Flowers of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

Close-ups of the flowers of a light-colored version of meadow larkspur as seen along Old Headquarters Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area of south-central Washington...........June 12, 2009.

Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum) - Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

Meadow larkspur observed on vernally moist slopes above a small creek at Brooks Memorial State Park off US 97 near Satus Pass......June 1, 2019.

Flower of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

Meadow larkspur. Note the long pedicel. Photographed along FS Rd 21 in the Umatilla NF........July 1, 2001.

Raceme of Meadow Larkspur, Two-spike Larkspur: Delphinium distichum (Synonyms: Synonyms: Delphinium burkei, Delphinium strictum var. distichiflorum)

The crowded inflorescence of meadow larkspur as seen along US 97 through the Yakima Indian Reservation.

Paul Slichter