Violet Larkspur

Violet Larkspur / Delphinium peregrinum / عايق بنفسجي

Picture Resource: By Luis nunes alberto - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0Link

Status: Common

This plant species is common in Mediterranean woodlands, shrub lands, deserts and steppes, commonly found in most parts of Palestine and wider area. Known as Violet Larkspur, this poisoning plant species belongs to the botanical family Ranunculaceae and occurs in dry, grasslands and scrub in the lowlands. The nearly 350 species of the genus Delphinuum are distributed in Europe, Western Asia and in North America. In addition, some species are also found in mountain regions in Central Africa. Violet Larkspur can be also found in some countries in south Europe, such Croatia, Italy, Greece; in Balkan Peninsula and Western Asia.

Delphinium peregrinum is an annual herbaceous species, which stem is 15–80 cm high, branched and pubescent. The main flowering stem is erect, from where the flowers open. The flowers are violet coloured, have a complex shape that consists of five petal-like sepals, which grow together to form a hollow tube ending with a spur, characteristic that gives the plant its common name. Within the sepals are four true small petals, which are coloured similarly to the sepals. The long spur of the upper sepal encloses the nectar-containing spurs of the two upper petals. Due to the long tube with a spur, the flowers are pollinated by bumblebees and butterflies, which are animals that have long tongue. The seeds produced are tinning and shinning black.

Despite Delphinium species are considered poisoning for humans, several species of this genus are used as ornamental plants in gardens. The toxicity of all parts of these plants may cause digestive problems and pain, skin irritation, causing death in some hours after ingestion, through cardio muscular problems and neuromuscular blocking effects. These plants are also a reason of cattle poisoning in North America.

IUCN red list status: not evaluated

Local status: least concern