Nuttall's Larkspur - Delphinium nuttallianum
[including] Delphinium sutherlandii
MNPS Threat Rank
Stems glabrous to hairy, 15–60 cm from tuber-like roots. Leaves few, mostly on lower stem; blades 2–9 cm wide; ultimate lobes to 6 mm wide. Inflorescence 4- to 18-flowered; lower flowers shorter than pedicels. Flowers with spreading, deep blue sepals 10–15 mm long; the lower ones longer; petals white to sometimes bluish; the lower blades cleft 1/4 to 1/2-way to base. Fruits 10–18 mm, hairy (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
Delphinium sutherlandii has been segragated from D. nuttallianum based mainly on characters of the lower lip petal, which appear to be continuous in our material. Hitchcock recognized D. nuttallianum var. fulvum which appears to correspond to Warnock's D. sutherlandii, but stated that it intergrades with typical D. nuttallianum. Recognition at the species level does not seem warranted at this time.
Delphinium nuttallianum, Nuttall’s Larkspur, is frequently confused with D. depauperatum, Slim Larkspur. Nuttall’s Larkspur, however, has pyramidal inflorescences, lower flowers shorter than their stalks (Lesica 2012), spreading fruits, and ringed seeds (FNA 1997). This contrasts with the cylindric inflorescences, lower flowers the same length or longer than their stalks (Lesica 2012), upright fruits, and winged seeds of Slim Larkspur (FNA 1997).
BC, AB south to CA, AZ, CO, and NE (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Vernally moist, sometimes shallow soil of meadows, grasslands, rock outcrops, open forest; valleys to alpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
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?
- Aho, Ken Andrew. 2006. Alpine and Cliff Ecosystems in the North-Central Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 343 p.
- Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
- Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
- King, C. R. 1953. The Ranunculaceae of Montana. M.S. Thesis, Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 82 p.
- Sawyer, P.T. 1967. Biosystematic studies of species of delphinium occurring in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 56 p.
- Sawyer, P.T. 1970. Systematic studies of non-fistulose delphinium taxa common to Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 84 p.