Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parish's Larkspur

Parish's larkspur or Parish desert larkspur
(Delphinium parishii ssp. parishii) is a member of the buttercup family
and is found in Southern California, except Orange, San Diego and Imperial Counties, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and one county in north-central Utah, scattered portions of about half of Arizona and northern Baja, California. It flowers from March to May and has five sky blue, petal-like sepals, each with a light green spot toward the tip, 
one white and three sky blue petals and a long, rear-projecting spur.
The flowers are loosely clustered on tall, slender, leafless flower stalks. All parts of the plant are poisonous and contain toxic diterpenoid alkaloids, including ajacine and delphinine. I photographed these flowers near Carey's Castle in southern Joshua Tree National Park on May 15, 2010.

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