Delphinium nudicaule

Red larkspur

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Shade
Drainage: Slow
Water: Regular
Height X Width: 3' X 1'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
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Generally one encounters larkspur in fairly sunny, open areas displaying cone-shaped flowers of blue or purple. Canyon larkspur is exceptional on several fronts. It is found exclusively in shady areas with at most a few hours of dappled sun. In Santa Clara County they are often seen on rocky slopes above creeks. The flower is a bright red - a rarity among larkspur and all California flora. The sight of the bright red flowers floating above gray stone in a dimly lit canyon is quite remarkable. Canyon larkspur is found in a variety of soil types, and appreciates ample water during the growing season. After blooming for a month or so, the plant goes dormant in the wild, disappearing completely above ground. With the cool moisture of winter, the fleshy roots send up new foliage for another bright display. I allow my plants to go dormant in the spring and have not made any attempts to keep them green with additional water. Canyon larkspur is an excellent candidate for a potted native.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous