Pale blue, sky blue, lilac, cobalt - Delphinium (common name: larkspur) is particularly known for its many shades of blue, although there are also varieties with white, yellow, purple, red and pink flowers. They grow in plumes along a stem that can reach a height of 2 m. This provides colour at a height where you would not normally expect it. The plant has a trendy cottage garden look, and its blooming period between June and August means it’s particularly associated with summer, also because it’s a real draw for butterflies. Unfortunately slugs also love it - but you can keep them away with ground shells or slug pellets. It’s best to scatter the latter around the base of the plant in February to protect your delphiniums from these greedy admirers.
Delphinium is a member of the buttercup family, within which it forms an enormous genus with over 1100 cultivars. The plant particularly occurs in the temperate regions in the northern hemisphere, but also grows in the mountains of tropical Africa. One notable characteristic of delphinium is that this is one of the few plants that quickly gets bored: replanting it to a different spot once every two years will do wonders for its growth and flowering.
The botanical name Delphinium is derived from the Latin word for dolphin, because the buds resemble this aquatic mammal to some extent.
The flower has backward-pointing parts that resemble spurs. That explains the common name ‘larkspur’.
Delphinium represents truth and protection.