A single-stemmed herbaceous perennial with an upright flower stalk bearing racemes of bluish-purple flowers. Flowers irregular, with 5 showy, petal-like sepals; the true petals are reduced to inconsequential appendages. One sepal extends backward, forming a long spur. There may be few to many flowers, terminal along a raceme, in shades of blue, violet, white, and mixtures of these. Blooms April-June. Leaves few, shaped like an outstretched hand, deeply divided into linear segments.
Similar species: There are 4 species of Delphinium recorded for Missouri.