For over 25 years I’ve walked around on these hills and along the road. Surely I’ve found and seen all the flowers by now. Dwarf Larkspur proves me wrong this year.
This is a small plant with big dark blue flowers. A single plant was nestled in the grass by the nearby spring.
That dark blue is how to find this plant. It stands out from the spring greens around it. Even so I was lucky to spot it as this plant was barely over six inches tall, but the flower stalk was still getting taller.
The plant I found was in a low, moist, shady area near a spring. The area has lots of grasses, periwinkle, wild geranium among others. The area has been let go wild now rather than mowed for picnicking.
The leaves are on long petioles and have numerous lobes sticking out from a central area above the petiole. The tops are light green and the underside even paler. The petioles come from the base of the plant.
The dwarf larkspur flowers begin blooming from the bottom buds on the flowering stalk and move upwards. It’s easy to see where the name came from as the flower is horn shaped with the back swept up into a blunt point.
The open end of the flower is split into six petal tabs surrounding a white ring. Inside are short hairs, stamens and pistil. The blue outside has a covering of short fuzz.
None of the seeds were ripe. However I peered into the throat of the old flowers now green husks. At the base were four seeds still green and growing.
I had planned on going to other places this year, but am staying close to home to avoid other people as much as possible. Having found a new plant, dwarf larkspur, around my home area I’m planning to do more exploring. There may be other new plants out there waiting to be found.
Find out about some of the plants and other things in the Ozark hills in “Exploring the Ozark Hills.”