Native to North American & Africa

Sometimes known as Delphinium or Consolida Ajacism, the Larkspur is one of the easiest plants to cultivate. These spiked flower clusters are native to North America and also found in the high mountains of tropical Africa. Abundant in meadows, the stems can grow up to two meters tall in the larger varieties. The blooms vary in color from purple to blue and into yellow and white. The Delphinium name comes from the Greek word for dolphin.

This annual grows especially well the southern United States and is a winter bloomer in this region. The flowers look best when grown in clusters and are often included in bouquet arrangements. You can cut these plants for fresh arrangements or hang them up to dry and use them in dry arrangements. To dry Larkspur, hang the blooms upside down in a dark area with excellent ventilation. Although lovely to look at, the flowers and seeds of the Larkspur are toxic when eaten. They have even caused some cattle poisoning when cattle eat the blooms in the meadows. Ranchers have been known to avoid moving their cattle to higher elevations until the blooms have died back.

Growing Recommendations - Larkspur

Propagating Larkspur is probably one of the easiest tasks in the garden. Once planted as seeds, these plants will volunteer again and again. As long as you let the plants grow into the blooms and allow them to go to seed, the fallen seeds will provide you with new plants indefinitely. All you have to do is thin the plants you don’t want. Place your seeds in an area with lots of sun or partial shade. It looks especially nice along a fence. Your soil should be moderately rich and well-drained. Initially, Larkspur requires a lot of water, but don’t let it become too sodden. Plant the seeds close to the surface in the spring in colder climates. Other regions can see them being planted in the fall. It takes about a week for the seeds to germinate, and you need to keep them moist during this time. Larkspur does not like heat and will wilt and die when temperatures climb above 80 degrees so this is not a good plant for desert gardens. Larkspur also does not grow well in tropical areas.

Photos of Larkspur

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