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Common Name: Red Larkspur
Delphinium nudicaule is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
All parts of the plant are toxic[
]. The plant is most toxic when it is young[
South-western N. America - California, oregon
Dry slopes among shrubs and in woods, below 2150 metres[
]. Moist talus and cliff faces from sea level to 2600 metres[
Prefers a rich well-drained soil[
]. Dislikes water-logged soils[
]. Requires an open sunny position[
Plants can flower in their first year from spring-sown seed, they are reliably perennial in their native environment, but often die overwinter in most parts of Britain[
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
Slugs and snails are very attracted to this plant[
The root is considered by some native North American Indians to be highly narcotic[
A blue dye is obtained from the flowers[
]. An ink can be made from the dye[
A parasiticide is obtained from the leaves[
]. It is quite toxic and so is for external use only.
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a cold frame or May outdoors[
]. Keep moist and in a shady position until germination takes place[
]. The seed has a limited viability so it should be stored in a sealed container at about 3°c[
]. Temperatures above 15°c inhibit germination[
]. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 9 weeks at 15°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
Cuttings of basal shoots in mid spring, taken before they become hollow at the base, and planted in a cold frame[
Division in spring[
] or early autumn[