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any north temperate, Old World annual of the genus Consolida of the buttercup family. Consolida species were formerly classified in the genus Delphinium,
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(also larkspur), a genus of plants of the family Ranunculaceae. The annual species of Delphinium are often assigned to the genus Consolida. The leaves are divided palmately. The flowers—disposed in racemes or panicles—are irregular, large, and mainly dark blue, light blue or violet. The perianth is formed by five petaloid leaflets, and the superior leaflet has a spur. The fruit consists of one or three to five follicles. There are about 300 species in the northern hemisphere and in the mountains of tropical Africa and about 100 species in the USSR, found primarily in the Caucasus and in Middle Asia. The most common species are the annual branching larkspur (D. consolida), a nectarous weed that yields a dark blue color used in dyeing wool, and the perennial bee larkspur (D. elatum) that grows in forests, shrub thickets, and meadows and contains delphinine, elatine, and other alkaloids used in medicine. Both species are effective insecticides. Many species of Delphinium are cultivated as ornamental flowers.