Delphinium ajacis L.
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 24
Family - Ranunculaceae
Stems - To +1m tall, erect to somewhat reclining with age, glabrous to puberulent or glandular(especially above), herbaceous, branching above, from taproot.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate below to sessile above, with 3-5 deeply divided lobes, typically pubescent. Ultimate divisions linear to linear-oblong, entire (ciliate-margined), to 2.5mm broad. Petioles to 9cm below.
Inflorescence - Dense terminal racemes to +10cm in flower. Each flower subtended by a pubescent linear bract to 9mm long. Pedicels to 7mm long, thick, expanded at apex, with pair of subopposite linear bracts to 3mm long, dense puberulent.
Flowers - Sepals deep blue-purple,(sometimes whitish to pinkish or mottled in cultivation), the most showy portion of the flower, spurred. Spur to -2cm long, dense pubescent. Petals 4, united, covering other floral organs(stamens and carpel), spurred. Stamens many, included. Filaments white, sparse pubescent, 5-6mm long, expanded at base. Anthers yellow, 1.1mm long. Ovary dense pubescent, 3-4mm long, conic.
Fruit - A follicle to 2cm long, one per flower, variously pubescent. (All other native members of the genus have 3 follicles per flower).
Flowering - July - August.
Habitat - Cultivated.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - This is an occasional garden annual which is probably not much escaped in the state. The flowers come in a variety of other colors, some of which are shown below:
Photographs taken off Mill Rd., Platte County, MO., 7-1-00.