Stems (17-)30-60(-100) cm; base reddish or not, glabrous to puberulent. Leaves scattered or mostly on proximal 1/3 of stem; basal leaves 0-11 at anthesis; cauline leaves 3-7 at anthesis; petiole 1-13 cm. Leaf blade pentagonal, 0.7-5 × 1-8 cm, glabrous to puberulent; ultimate lobes 3-18, width 2-18 mm (basal), 0.5-8 mm (cauline). Inflorescences (6-)10-40(-74)-flowered, cylindric; pedicel ascending-spreading, (0.3-)1-2.5(-4.8) cm, glabrous to puberulent; bracteoles 2-5(-10) mm from flowers, green, lance-linear, 2-6(-16) mm, glabrous to puberulent. Flowers: sepals dark blue to white to pink, often puberulent, lateral sepals reflexed or spreading, (7-)9-13 × 2-7 mm, spurs ± decurved, ascending 20-45° above horizontal, 7-15 mm; lower petal blades ± elevated, exposing stamens, blue or white to pink (concolorous with sepals), 3-6 mm, clefts 1-3 mm; hairs mostly near base of cleft, centered or on inner lobes, white. Fruits 9-21 mm, 2-4 times longer than wide, glabrous to puberulent. Seeds: seed coat cells ± brick-shaped, cell margins undulate, surfaces roughened.
FNA 1997, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial with erect stems, 1-several, 30-60 cm, base reddish sometimes, glabrous and glaucous or minutely and sparsely puberulent, arising from a woody rootstock. Leaves: Scattered on lower third of stem, blades pentagonal, 3-5 parted, 3-5 cm broad, divisions narrowly to broadly cuneate, toothed or again cleft into narrow often linear lobes, usually glabrous but sometimes sparsely puberulent. Flowers: Racemes 10-40 flowered, cylindric, ascending pedicels 1-2 cm long, sepals dark blue to pale lavender, pink or white, 6-10 mm long, finely puberulent without, lateral sepals reflexed or spreading; spurs decurved, ascending about 20-45 degrees above the horizontal, 7-15 mm long; lower petal blades elevated, exposing stamens, blue or white to pink, usually matching sepal color, 3-6 mm, with clefts 1-3 mm; hairs near base of clef, centered, or on inner lobes, white. Fruits: Follicles 9-21 mm long, 2-4 times longer than wide, glabrous to puberulent. Ecology: Found on rocky hillsides or along washes below 12,000 ft (3658 m); flowers April-June. Notes: One subspecies in Arizona, subsp. parishii. Told apart by the reflexed lateral sepals, which are bright to more or less sky blue. This is the most xerophytic of the larkspurs in North America. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genera have uses. Etymology: Delphinium is Discorides- name for dolphin-head, while parishii is named for the brothers Samuel Bonsall Parish (1838-1928) and William Fletcher Parish (1840-1918) both botanical collectors who lived in San Bernadino, California. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010