"Among the blue larkspurs are some of our handsomest spring flowers. Their slender wands, covered with magnificent large blossoms, rise abundantly on every side upon some of the mesas of our seashore, making charming flower-gardens upon the plains. In color they are matchless—of the richest of Mazarin blue and purple blue. The Spanish-Californians have a pretty title for these blossoms— "espuelo del caballero" ("the cavalier's spur"). Some…are poisonous to sheep and cattle, causing great losses to the herds every year in some localities."
—Mary Elizabeth Parsons, The Wildflowers of California, 1897