FWS Focus



Baker’s larkspur is a perennial herb in the buttercup family. The plant occurs in decomposed shale in the mixed woodland plant communities of Sonoma and Marin Counties, California. Baker’s larkspur has only been known from three locations—Coleman Valley in southern Sonoma County; near the town of Tomales in northern Marin County, and approximately 6 miles east of Tomales Bay in northern Marin County. Baker’s larkspur is thought to have been extirpated from Coleman Valley and from near Tomales. As of 2023, there are four extant populations of Baker’s larkspur: one historical population and three introduced populations. The only known remaining naturally occurring population of this species is found in Marin County on a steep roadside embankment.

Baker’s larkspur is susceptible to extinction from road maintenance, ordinary events such as landslides and environmental pressures such as wildlife herbivory and drought because of its extreme range restrictions and extremely small population. 

This species was listed as endangered on January 26, 2000.

Scientific Name

Delphinium bakeri
Common Name
Baker's larkspur
Baker's delphinium
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



Characteristic category



Baker’s larkspur grows in decomposed shale in a variety of habitats, including mixed woodlands of coast live oak, California bay laurel, and California buckeye in Sonoma and Marin Counties, California.


A dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract.


Environments influenced by humans in a less substantial way than cities. This can include agriculture, silvaculture, aquaculture, etc.

Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Size & Shape

Baker’s larkspur grows from a thickened, tuber-like fleshy cluster of roots. The stems are hollow, erect, and grow to 26 inches tall. The leaves are five-parted, occur primarily along the upper third of the stem, and are green at the time the plant flowers. The whitish area in the center of the leaves is a distinctive feature. The flowers are irregularly shaped. The five sepals are conspicuous, bright dark blue or purplish, with the rear sepal elongated into a spur. The inconspicuous petals occur in two pairs. The lower pair is blue-purple; the upper pair is white.

Characteristic category

Life Cycle


Baker’s larkspur flowers from April into May. Pollination is by bumblebees and hummingbirds. The species is self-compatible but requires visitation by pollinators for good seed set. Seeds are produced in several dry, many-seeded fruits, called capsules, which split open at maturity on only one side.

Life Span

Baker’s Larkspur is a perennial herb.


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