Delphinium variegatum ssp. kinkiense

Common Names:
San Clemente Island Larkspur
(Munz) M. J. Warnock
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

The conservation of Delphinium variegatum ssp. kinkiense is fully sponsored.


The San Clemente Island larkspur (Delphinium variegatum ssp. kinkiense) is one of 13 plant species that are only found on San Clemente Island. Of the islands 272 native plant species, 47 of them, or 13% of the islands total flora, occur only on one or more of the Channel Islands and no where else on earth. In 1977 the San Clemente Island larkspur, along with the San Clemente bushmallow, San Clemente broom, San Clemente Island indian paintbrush, was one of the first plant species to be listed for protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

The San Clemente Island larkspur is an herbaceous perennial plant that following winter rains develops leafy shoots and subsequent flower stems from a fibrous or fleshy rootstalk. This colorful late spring blooming member of the island grassland plant community typically grows less than 2 tall, bears pale blue to white flowers, and is one of the three recognized subspecies of the more common mainland, dark blue flowered, Royal Larkspur, Delphinium variegatum ssp. variegatum. The mainland subspecies interestingly is not known to occur on the more closely adjacent southern California mainland regions but is rather most common from the San Francisco Bay region north and east into the Sierra Nevada mountain foothill regions. The third subspecies, Thornes Royal Larkspur Delphinium variegatum ssp. thornei), has bright blue flowers, and like ssp. kinkiense is also only found on (endemic to) San Clemente Island.

San Clemente Island, the southern most of the Channel Islands of California, lies 64 miles west-northwest and 50 miles south-southwest of San Pedro, the nearest point of the mainland. Once covered by continuous stretches of coastal sage scrub and canyon woodlands, most of the island has since been converted to eroded non-native grasslands by introduced feral goats and pigs. Fortunately over the past few decades the U.S. Navy that owns the island has been removing the animals allowing the vegetation and many of the severely threatened plant and animals species to recover.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research