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ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Larkspur, rocket larkspur, annual delphinium
Botanical name: Delphinium ajacis    Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)
Synonyms: Consolida ajacis, Delphinium orientale, Delphinium simplex

Larkspur is a fascinating member of the Buttercup family, with flowers almost as complex as the orchids and colorful blooms covering a spectrum from white to blue to violet. When in bloom, these big flower spikes are lovely in the garden. Colors include light and dark pink, blue, rose, lavender and white. Stems are 30-80 cm. Leaves are 12-60-lobed or more, 1-5 cm wide. Inflorescences are 6-30-flowered, simple or with 3 or fewer branches. Flower-stalk are 1-3 cm, sepals blue to purple, rarely pink or white, nearly hairless, lower sepal 8-18 x 4-8mm, lateral sepals 8-18 x 6-14 mm, spur 1.2-2.0 cm. Petals are of same color as sepals or whiter, lateral lobes 3-6 mm, at branch-ends lobes 5-8 x 2-4 mm. Follicles are 1.2-2.5 cm, finely velvet-hairy. Larkspur is native to S. Europe to W. Himalaya and Central Asia.

Identification c redit: Anu Venugopalan Photographed in New Delhi

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