Consolida ajacis (L.) Schur, 1853
Common names: Doubtful knight's spur, Rocket larkspur [En], Dauphinelle cultivée, Dauphinelle d'Ajax [Fr], Valse ridderspoor [Nl], Garten-Feldrittersporn, Gartenrittersporn [De], Conejillos de jardín, Conejitos [Es], Κονσολίντα του Αίαντα [Gr], Bahçe hezareni [Tu]
Balkan Botanic Garden, Kroussia Mountains, SERRES ● Greece
Description: Annual flowering plant which may reach a meter in height. It often produces 2 or 3 forking stems that are themselves little branched. These stems are round and pubescent, although with age they often become glabrous. The alternate leaves are sessile, palmately divided, and up to 3" long and across. Their lobes repeatedly subdivide into smaller lobes that are narrowly linear, providing the leaves with a lacy appearance. They are slightly pubescent and often have a silky appearance.
The stems terminate into spike-like racemes of blue-violet flowers. These racemes can be up to 1' in length. Each flower is about 2" across, consisting of 5 petal-like sepals, 4 petals, a single pistil, and some stamens with light blue anthers. The upper sepal forms a hood in front and an upward-curving spur in back about 1" long. The middle and lower sepals are well-rounded and spreading. The 2 upper petals form a protective inner hood of the reproductive organs; they are not fused together. The 2 lower petals form a V-shaped landing pad for visiting insects. The outer sepals are larger in size than the inner petals. At the base of each flower is a slender pedicel about 1" long.
After the blooming period, each flower is replaced by a pubescent follicle containing numerous small black seeds. These seeds are small enough to be dispersed by gusts of wind. The root system is a slender branching taproot.
Biology: The blooming period occurs during the summer and lasts about 1-2 months.
Habitat: fields, waste places, roads and gardens edges.
Distribution: Eurasia. It is widespread in other areas, including much of North America, where it was an introduced species.
Caution: Since the aerial parts and seeds of C. ajacis have been found to contain diterpenoid alkaloids, including the highly toxic methyllycaconitine, the plants should be considered as poisonous.
Wikipedia, Consolida ajacis
Illinois Wild Flowers