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Larkspur is a family of eye catching but poisonous wildflowers ranging from light to inky blue, or violet to deep purple. Tall larkspur favors meadows. Low larkspur prefers grassy hillsides and sagebrush areas. A third variety causes problems for ranchers on the high plains. The plains larkspur is often the first plant to emerge in the spring, which attracts cattle. But the earliest stage of growth is when it’s at its most poisonous. Larkspur is hazardous and sometimes lethal to animals.

But for centuries, those same toxic qualities made larkspur useful in controlling lice. To ancient Greeks and Romans the blooms resemble dolphin noses, but to the English the petals look like meadowlark claws and the silver spurs on medieval knights. Shakespeare called the flower "Lark's Heel." It’s also known as "Knight's Spur," making the town of Larkspur a fitting host of the Colorado Renaissance Festival every summer.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.