Scientific Name:
Delphinium spp
Toxic Parts:
diterpenoid alkaloids
Flower Color:
gardens, ornamental, mountains, woodlands

Geographical Distribution

Larkspur distribution - United States


Delphinium spp

Delphinium, Larkspur, staggerweed
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Larkspur (Delphinium spp) is a genus of about 300 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae. They are are often sold in nurseries as garden ornamental but also grow in the wild. They are native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and also on the high mountains of tropical Africa.

All parts of larkspurs are poisonous, containing delphinine, a type of alkaloid. The toxin is highest during early growth of the plant, and again once the flowers and pods bloom late in the season. The amount of toxin in each plant varies considerably.


  • Rapid irregular pulse
  • Muscular twitching
  • salivation
  • change in behavior
  • nervousness
  • weakness
  • staggering gait
  • death


Research results show that low larkspurs can usually be controlled by applying 2,4-D at the rate of 2 kg ae/Ac when the vegetative development approaches its maximum but before the first flowers open. | Tall larkspur can be controlled with picloram (0.5 - 1.0 kg ae/Ac) up through the flowering stage. Metsulfuron (30-40 gm ai/Ac) is effective as a spot spray when applied in the early vegetative and bud stages of growth. Follow precautions when handling herbicides.