Dwarf Larkspur

This past spring, I was happy to discover this lovely wildflower from the Buttercup family growing in the woods near my home. I had never seen a wild Delphinium before and this one is known as the Dwarf Larkspur. Its scientific name is Delphinium tricorne.

Are you having problems with Japanese Beetles? Maybe planting a bunch of Dwarf Larkspur will help- Japanese Beetles have been documented dying shortly after feeding on this wildflower. (source)

So, yes, this plant is toxic. As with many other plants in the Buttercup family, the entire plant is toxic, especially the young seeds and leaves.

Despite this wildflower's high toxicity- it is second only to Locoweed in being responsible for cattle death in the American Southwest (source)- it was used during the United States Civil War for helping to close wounds. It was also used as an insecticide for the killing of parasites and lice. (source) The Cherokee Indians are documented as having used an infusion of the Dwarf Larkspur as a heart medicine. The Cherokee also used it as a poison- noting that this plant "made cows drunk and kills them." (source: Native American Ethnobotany; Moerman, Daniel E.)

The Dwarf Larkspur is found throughout the Southeastern portion of the United States and blooms from early to late Spring.

2 comments:

Eve said...

wow daniel that is very interesting and very pretty!!

Terry said...

The petals seem as soft as satin.