Delphinium tricorne Michx.
Family - Ranunculaceae
Stems - To +45cm tall, glaucous, mostly glabrous but pubescent in and near inflorescence, hollow, herbaceous, somewhat succulent, reddish at very base, from a thick root, typically simple.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petioles of lower leaves to 15cm long, hollow, sparsely to moderately pubescent. Blade pubescent above and below, with ciliate margins, to +15cm broad, +8cm long, palmately lobed, each lobe again divided. Ultimate leaf divisions 2-3mm broad, linear to lanceolate.
Inflorescence - Terminal raceme to 15cm tall(long). Pedicels subtended by attenuate bract. Bracts to 9mm long, 2mm broad at base.
Flowers - Pedicels to 2cm long, densely pubescent. Corolla zygomorphic, typically +/- 3.5cm long and broad. Calyx of 5 sepals. Sepals deep blue-purple(violet) to whitish. Upper sepal with spur to 2cm long. Petals 4. Lateral petals bearded on outside and slightly covering stamens. Upper petals spurred, to -2cm long, lighter blue-purple to whitish. Stamens +/-20. Anthers brownish-black, to 1.5mm long. Filaments white, glabrous, to +6mm long, flattened below and broadest at base. Ovaries pubescent, 4mm long, 1.2mm in diameter.
Fruit - Follicles up to 2cm long, 3 per flower.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Rich, moist woods, slopes, ravines, streambanks.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - Everyone likes
this genus because of the interesting and striking flowers. D.
tricorne is a fairly small plant but it produces great color.
Many pants in the genus are cultivated.
Photographs taken at the Hercules Glade Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-21-00, by Tom's Creek, NC., 4-20-03, and at Reform Conservation Area, Callaway County, MO., 4-13-04.