Desert Larkspur (Delphinium parishii)


Desert Larkspur (Delphinium parishii)

Delphinium parishii, the Desert larkspur, is a flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae (the buttercup family) native to the Mojave Desert, in the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. In Southern California it is also found in the Tehachapi Mountains and other Transverse Ranges.

It is found between 300–2,500 metres (980–8,200 ft) of elevation in California, Arizona, southwestern Utah, and Baja California.

Delphinium parishi is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 17–60 cm tall, rarely to 100 cm tall, with palmately lobed leaves.

The flowers vary across the species’ range, from dark blue to purplish near Joshua Tree National Park, sky-blue in the eastern and northern parts of the desert, and pink in some areas in California. Flowering occurs between April and June.

Photograph used under Creative Commons license from Joe Decruyenaere.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.