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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Ranunculaceae

17. Consolida (de Candolle) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2: 711. 1822.

Larkspur [Latin consolidatus, to become solid or firm, from reputed ability to heal wounds]

Michael J. Warnock

Delphinium Linnaeus sect. Consolida de Candolle, Syst. Nat. 1: 341. 1817

Herbs , annual, from slender taproots. Leaves all cauline at anthesis, alternate, proximal leaves petiolate, distal leaves nearly sessile. Leaf blade palmately finely dissected, ±semicircular, lobes less than 2 mm wide (except sometimes on leaves near base of stem), margins entire. Inflorescences terminal, 3-45(-75)-flowered racemes, 5-30 cm; bracts leaflike, not forming involucre. Flowers bisexual, bilaterally symmetric; sepals not persistent in fruit, 5; upper sepal 1, spurred, 5-18 mm; lateral sepals 2, elliptic or lanceolate, sometimes spurred, 5-18 mm; lower sepals 2, similar to lateral sepals; petals 2, connate, blue to purple, pink, or white, spurred, spur enclosed in upper sepal, 1-2-lobed, 3-8 mm; nectary on spur; stamens many; filaments with base expanded; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils; pistil 1, simple; ovules several per pistil; style present. Fruits follicles, solitary, sessile, ±cylindric, sides smooth; beak terminal, straight, 1-2 mm. Seeds dark brown to black, obpyramidal to 3-angled. x =8.

Species ca. 40 (5 in the flora): temperate and subtropical regions, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.

All species of Consolida included here are cultivated in North America. Consolida regalis has been reported to self-sow for many years. Inclusion of the other four species is based on herbarium specimens with label data indicating that the specimens were collected from sites not under cultivation at the time.


Chater, A. O. 1993. Consolida. In: T. G. Tutin et al., eds. 1993+. Flora Europaea, ed 2. 1+ vols. Cambridge and New York. Vol.1, pp. 260-262. Keener, C. S. 1976. Studies in the Ranunculaceae of the southeastern United States. IV. Genera with zygomorphic flowers. Castanea 41: 12-20. Munz, P. A. 1967. A synopsis of African species of Delphinium and Consolida. J.Arnold Arbor. 48: 30-55. Munz, P. A. 1967b. A synopsis of the Asian species of Consolida (Ranunculaceae). J. Arnold Arbor. 48: 159-202.

1 Proximal bracts simple, sometimes lowermost 3-lobed.   (2)
+ Proximal bracts (at least 2 lowermost) dissected into 3 or more lobes.   (4)
2 (1) Spur less than 12 mm.   5 Consolida tenuissima
+ Spur 12 mm or more.   (3)
3 (2) Terminal lobe of petal more than 2 mm wide, sinus more than 0.5 mm deep; stems ± puberulent.   4 Consolida regalis
+ Terminal lobe of petal less than 2 mm wide, sinus less than 0.5 mm deep; stems densely pubescent.   3 Consolida pubescens
4 (1) Bracteoles touching sepals, 1–5 mm proximal to flower; spur 12 mm or less.   2 Consolida orientalis
+ Bracteoles (at least on proximal flowers) not touching sepals, 4–20 mm proximal to flower; spur 12 mm or more.   (5)
5 (4) Follicles less than 1/2 length of proximal pedicels; inflorescence with 3 or more branches; stems pubescent.   3 Consolida pubescens
+ Follicles 1/2 or more length of proximal pedicels; inflorescence usually with 3 or fewer branches; stems glabrous to sparsely puberulent.   1 Consolida ajacis

Lower Taxa


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