Ranunculaceae: Buttercup Family — Delphinium (Larkspur)
Some larkspurs can be tricky to identify. The structure of the flower is not intuitive. What look like petals are actually sepals, the uppermost sepal extending back to cover the nectar-secreting spurs of the two upper petals into the eponymous spur. The two lower petals (usually the same color as the sepals) are in the center of the flower, much smaller than the sepals, generally vertically aligned and sometimes appearing more or less joined to form a raised dome. Whether the lateral sepals are spreading with the tips facing forward or recurved (swept back) can be critical to identification. Likewise whether the fruits are straight with only the tips curved out or widely spreading. Leaves vary widely with lobes ranging from the very narrow to the broad, sometimes withering before flowering, sometimes not.