Plant Data Sheet


Two-Lobed Larkspur, Delphinium nuttallianum


photo credit: Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Western US, Washington east to Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, South to California, New Mexico and Arizona (USDA, NRCS PLANTS Database, 2002)


Climate, elevation:

Drier continental climate, 1,000 to 3,000 meters, (USDA, 1993)


Local occurrence:

Found in eastern Washington state in Ponderosa Pine forest and associated grasslands or Sagebrush desert

(Hitchcock and Cronquist, 1973 )


Habitat preferences:

Full sun, in dry grasslands, open forest, and wet seeps (USDA, 1993 )


Plant strategy type/successional stage:

Ruderal, pioneer to early seral (USDA, 1993)


Associated species:

Pinus ponderosa, Artemesia tridentata, Agropyrons spp., (USDA, 1993)


May be collected as:

Seed (Skinner, 2002)


Collection restrictions or guidelines:

Collect whole follicle when it begins to split, store in paper bags, or shake opened follicles into bag (Skinner, 2002 )

Flowers from May to August, peaks in July (USDA, 1993)


Seed germination:

Cold moist stratification required

when sown in December it failed to germinate, but sown in November it germinated in spring

(Skinner, 2002)


Seed life:

not found


Recommended seed storage conditions:

40 F and 40% relative humidity (Skinner, 2002)


Propagation recommendations:

The following protocol for cuttings is from, Skinner, (2002) working in eastern Washington:

In November, seed was cleaned if entire follicle was collected using air-column separator after crushing follicles

Seed was then sown in liner tray and covered slightly

Liner trays were filled with 3:1:1 peat:vermiculite:perlite blend

Seed was covered with thin layer of pea gravel and watered in well

Flats were stored outside for winter, and watered when dry

Germinated in March, watered as needed, fertilized once weekly

Moved to lath house in June, and stored there over winter

Plugs were planted on site the following May with drill (1.5 inch diameter) and became dormant in June

Following year produced vigorous growth and seed.


Soil or medium requirements:

Used 3:1:1 peat:vermiculite:perlite blend, but increased drainage was recommended (Skinner, 2002)


Installation form:

1.5 inch diameter plug (Skinner, 2002)


Recommended planting density:

not found


Care requirements after installed:

Note: This genus is generally poisonous to cattle, but palatable to many wildlife species (USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, 2002)


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan:

Slow, perennial, can persist in seedbank (USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, 2002)


Sources cited:


Hitchcock, L. C. and Cronquist, A., 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA 730 p.


Skinner, David M. 2002. Propagation protocol for production of container Delphinium nuttallianum Pritz. ex Walp. plants; Pullman Plant Materials Center, Pullman, Washington. In: Native Plant Network. URL: (accessed 22 June 2003). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.


USDA, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (1993). Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. Available: [Accessed 6/22/03].


USDA, NRCS. 2002 The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA



Data compiled by:

Matthew Ramsay, June 22, 2003