Delphinium tricorne is one of the earliest native wildflowers to emerge in the Spring.
Hard to believe that such a sensational plant arises from such a tiny tuber, not much larger than the nail on your pinky finger. It's equally hard to believe that such a dramatic plant is so ephemeral. The dark purple flowers do last about two weeks and almost always set seeds. The seed heads themselves are quite ornamental.
In my shade garden, Delphinium tricorne occupies a prominent place where it flowers profusely at the time when ferns like Asplenium platyneuron are just awakening and starting to think about unfurling their dormant fronds. As the Asplenium fully unfolds, the Delphinium is producing its seedheads and shedding its leaves to give the ferns room to grow, such good neighbors!
Propagation is easy from the copious amounts of shiny dark seeds that are very reliably produced every year. We sow them in 4" pots and leave them outside for the Winter as the oscillating temperatures seem to be a requirement of germination. Seedlings are left in the pots for a couple of years. As they gain some size, they're transplanted into their own individual pots for subsequent sale. Of course you can let Mother Nature do her own thing and you'll have a nice colony in just a few years.
Taxonomic Hierarchy Kingdom - Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom - Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision - Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division - Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants Class - Magnoliopsida Subclass - Magnoliidae Order - Ranunculales Family - Ranunculaceae Genus - Delphinium Species - tricorne Common name - "Dwarf Larkspur" Synonyms - none Native range - http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/cgi/b98_map?genus=Delphinium&species=tricorne USDA Hardiness Zone - at least 5, possibly 4 or 3 Light preference - Open bright shade to full shade Soil fertility preference - Average to rich Soil pH preference - neutral to acidic Soil moisture preference - Moist to average Bloom time - Very early Spring Bloom color - Dark Purple Fragrance - None Foliage - Medium green, dissected Spread - 12" - 24" Height - 8" - 18" Deer palatability - Seems deerproof, at least my deer don't seem interested Landscape uses - Front of shade border or wild garden Related species -Many native and non native Medicinal uses - None found