Delphinium hutchinsoniae
status box

endangered

Photo taken at Rocky Ridge VABM, Garrapata State Park  © 2005 Dean W. Taylor

Photo taken at Rocky Ridge VABM, Garrapata State Park © 2005 Dean W. Taylor

Photo taken at Rocky Ridge VABM, Garrapata State Park  © 2005 Dean W. Taylor

Photo taken at Rocky Ridge VABM, Garrapata State Park © 2005 Dean W. Taylor

Photo taken at Rocky Ridge VABM, Garrapata State Park  © 2005 Dean W. Taylor

Photo taken at Rocky Ridge VABM, Garrapata State Park © 2005 Dean W. Taylor


This fact sheet was prepared by Grey F. Hayes and Dean W. Taylor under award NA04N0S4200074 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NOAA or the DOC.

© Copyright 2006, Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program

Last updated: Jan 23, 2015 20:22

Common Names - Big Sur larkspur

Family - Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

State Status - none

Federal Status - none

Habitat

Sheltered canyons in coastal scrub along the immediate coast, bordering riparian areas or on steep canyon slopes.

Key Characteristics

Perennial herb 2–9 dm tall, puberulent throughout, firmly attached to the roots; leaves cauline or in a basal rosette (non-flowering individuals), petiole hairs spreading, leaves deeply divided with 3–12 lobes, the secondary divisions spreading; inflorescence with less than 10 flowers; pedicels ascending, 8–40 mm long, the lowest flowers at full development 10–25 mm apart, lateral sepals 12–24 mm long, spur 11–19 mm long, generally downcurved for > 3 mm at tip (straight in D. variegatum ssp. variegatum), lower petals 5–10 mm long, the margins glabrous (ciliate in D. variegatum ssp. variegatum); ripe follicles erect. The downcurved and transversely rugose spur is diagnostic for D. hutchinsoniae.

Flowering Period

April to June

Reference Population

Pine Ridge Trail, Pfeiffer State Park (Monterey County)

Global Distribution

Endemic to central California in the Big Sur region.

Conservation

Closely related to D. variegatum, D. hansenii, and D. hesperium (of subsection Echinata), which are also endemic to California. An CNDDB occurrence from the interior is erroneous, being based a voucher specimen annotated as D. variegatum (Warnock 1997)—a species is frequently seen in the interior of our region, whereas D. hutchinsoniae is coastal. Field surveys are needed to document absence in suitable habitat along the Big Sur Coast, where often sympatric with D. parryi. On the Rocky Ridge Trail, Garrapata SP, several thousand plants occur along a segment of the trail near the Rocky Ridge BM in scrub on very steep slopes, suggesting this species may be more abundant than available data indicate, indicating that a lesser endangerment status may be appropriate.

Reference

Warnock, M. 1997.  Delphinium. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 12+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 3, pp. 196–240.

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