The New Student's Reference Work/Larkspur
Lark′spur, a showy garden and wild flower, grows in the temperate and cool regions of the northern hemisphere and comprises both annual and perennial species. The lovely flowers are deep blue or purple, having many blossoms along a slender stem. The rocket larkspur of Switzerland and the branching larkspur are annuals, and the barlows and the great flowered are perennials. Many new species have been developed by cultivation. The stavesacre yields an alkaloid extract called delphinine, which is very poisonous even in small doses. There are over 25 species in the United States. Dwarf larkspur, known as stagger-weed because of its effect on cattle, grows in open woods, and bears long loose clusters of vivid blue or white flowers. Growing in the same range is the tall larkspur, which sometimes reaches a height of five feet, its flowers of intense blue being on long terminal racemes. The Carolina larkspur, from one to three feet in height, has blossoms of blue, pink and white.