Anderson's Larkspur - Delphinium andersonii
This larkspur is a perennial with 1 to several erect, sometimes hollow stems, 15-50 cm tall, from a thick, branching root. The leaves are mostly confined to the lower 1/3 of the stem, the lowest ones withering by flowering time; the leaf blades are usually somewhat fleshy, 2-5 cm broad, and three times dissected into linear or oblong segments; the petioles of the lower leaves are 1-5 times as long as the blades; foliage is glabrous. The open inflorescence has one main stem with 3-15 flowers and usually 1 to several smaller side branches; the spreading sepals are 11-15 mm long and generally deep blue; the uppermost sepal has a long tubular portion (spur) projecting backwards; the lower petals are also deep blue and have a deep notch, 1/4-1/2 the length of the blade; the erect upper petals are whitish with blue tips; the stalk of each flower is 2-4 times the length of the calyx spur. The three-parted seed capsule is usually glabrous.
Delphinium is a difficult genus and a technical key should be consulted. Roots are necessary for positive identification.
Lesica (2012) believes reports of this species for Montana are based on misidenfications. It has been recorded for Ravalli County but that report should be rechecked (erbarium specimen data provided by University of Washington; accessed through the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria website, www.pnwherbaria.org, 2010-10-03).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Sagebrush valleys and hills, into open forests; sparsely vegetated, sandy, probably calcareous soils.
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans
, Bombus appositus
, Bombus auricomus
, Bombus borealis
, Bombus centralis
, Bombus fervidus
, Bombus flavifrons
, Bombus mixtus
, Bombus occidentalis
, Bombus pensylvanicus
, Bombus griseocollis
, Bombus impatiens
, and Bombus kirbiellus
(Plath 1934, Macior 1974, Bauer 1983, Thorp et al. 1983, Wilson et al. 2010, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Koch et al. 2012, Pyke et al. 2012, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014, Williams et al. 2014).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Bauer, P.J. 1983. Bumblebee pollination relationships on the Beartooth Plateau tundra of Southern Montana. American Journal of Botany. 70(1): 134-144.
- Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
- Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
- Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
- Plath, O.E. 1934. Bumblebees and their ways. New York, NY: Macmillan Company. 201 p.
- Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
- Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
- Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
- Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- Ewan, J. 1945. A synopsis of the North American species of Delphinium. University of Colorado Studies 2(2):55-242.
- Lesica, P. and P.L. Achuff. 1992. Distribution of vascular plant species of special concern and limited distribution in the Pryor Mountain desert, Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 105 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
- Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
- Sawyer, P.T. 1967. Biosystematic studies of species of delphinium occurring in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 56 p.