The rains have come and gone and come again for days after days. But April showers bring May flowers. Don’t They? Well, sort of. These actually began blooming in April. And while they are sometimes mistaken for violets ( Specifically Bird’s Foot Violets) but these are not even in the violet family. This is Dwarf Larkspur.
Before I actually started to blog about the wildlife in my mountains Larkspur was one of those plants that I knew the name but because I didn’t really use it for food or medicine I just kinda ignored it. As it turns out it has an interesting Native American lore linking to it. One that I’ve only learned a few minutes ago is that Native Americans told the story of a sky woman who wanted to visit the Earth below and made a spike from the evening sky to climb down. But at some point in the story the sky breaks and the pieces turn into Larkspur flowers.
Larkspur is the same family of flowers as Aconitum or what’s better know as Monk’s Hood or Wolfsbane. Ranunculaceae which is the buttercups. Knowing that makes me wonder how many pioneers tried to make charms to keep away vampires and werewolves from it like they would have used Monk’s Hood.
Larkspur is listed in older texts as a medical plant but it’s deadly toxic. It’s on par with foxglove and I have to wonder if Native Americans used it to poison arrows and darts the way my European ancestors would have used the “Wolfsbane”. However, since there hasn’t been a werewolf or vampire sighting here in the past 200 years I decided to leave the Larkspur where I found it and move on. I did however note the location just in case. 😉
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