While you may only see a couple types of delphinium at the florist or nursery, there are over 400 species of Delphinium! Native to the Northern Hemisphere and the mountainous African tropics, these tall and colorful flowers are actually part of the Ranunculus Family. The name Delphinium originates from the Greek word for Dolphin based on its bud shape with the long nectar spur at the back. This plant is poisonous to humans and animals and can cause irritation to the skin even though it has historically been used for medicinal purposes. It has also been used throughout history for dyes and inks by mixing the juices with alum. The Delphinium is also a garden perennial, hardy in zones 3-7 and blooms in the summer. They are a host plant for some Lepidoptera species including the Dot Moth and the Small Angle Shades. There are many species of larkspur native to the United States including 2 species native to California that are considered highly endangered.
Blue flowers have traditionally within the Language of Flowers, been seen as a calming and peaceful vibes and the color holds universal meaning in religious rituals and ceremonies. Something blue is worn by the bride to show she is tied to faithfulness and loyalty. Dark, regal tones express trustworthiness, confidence, intelligence, and unity. This time of year, we carry many different varieties of larkspur and delphinium including shades of blues, purples, pinks, and whites. Be sure to call and include it in your summer arrangements or pick up a couple stems to brighten your home with.