Delphinium tricorne

Delphinium tricorne, known by the common name dwarf larkspur, is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family. It is native to the eastern United States, where it is the most common Delphinium found.[1] It is found in rich mesic forests, often over calcareous rocks.[2]

Delphinium tricorne
Delphinium tricorne 2.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Delphinium
D. tricorne
Binomial name
Delphinium tricorne


It a perennial that sends up long, stringy thin stems with few leaves and bears attractive flowers in shades of blue.

Chemical studiesEdit

The diterpenoid alkaloids lycoctonine and tricornine (otherwise known as lycoctonine-18-O-acetate) have been isolated from D. tricorne.[3] The toxicology and pharmacology of lycoctonine have been quite well studied, but there is only limited information available concerning the biological properties of tricornine.[4] Both alkaloids have neuro-muscular blocking properties,[5] and D. tricorne should be treated as a potentially poisonous plant. This species has long been regarded as poisonous to livestock.[6]


  1. ^ Flora of North America
  2. ^ "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States".
  3. ^ S. W. Pelletier and J. Bhattacharyya (1977) Phytochemistry 16 1464.
  4. ^ M. H. Benn and J. M. Jacyno (1983). In Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives, Vol. 1, (S. W. Pelletier, Ed.) pp. 153-210, New York: Wiley.
  5. ^ See Wikipedia entry for methyllycaconitine.
  6. ^ V. K. Chesnut (1898) USDA Farmer's Bull. 86 11-13.