Annual Delphinium, Also Known as Larkspur

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Lawn & Garden

Larkspur, also known as annual delphinium, is a tall plant that can reach up to four feet in height. It has spikes of flowers in various pastel colors that resemble the delphinium. Formerly considered part of the delphinium family, botanists have now classified it as Consolida, which means “an undetermined plant” in Latin.

Characteristics of larkspur: This plant has delphinium-like flowers that are either single or double, and are evenly spaced around its long stem. Its foliage is lacy and gray-green. Although blue is the most common color, larkspur can also bloom in pink, salmon, rose, lavender, purple, and white.

Growing larkspur: It is best to grow larkspur in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. If it is exposed to high winds, it may need staking. It grows best in cool weather. In Zones 7 to 10, it is possible to sow seeds early in the fall so that young plants will bloom early in the spring. In other zones, seeds can be sown late in the fall so that they will germinate in the spring. To encourage bloom, remove spent blossoms.

Propagating larkspur: Larkspur is propagated by seed. It is best to sow the seeds in place, as it does not transplant well. Seeds can be sown in the fall or as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. For summer and fall blooms in cool climates, sow seeds successively 2 to 3 weeks apart until mid-May.

Uses for larkspur: Larkspur can be used in groups to give a cottage garden look, particularly when planted with informal annuals. It can be planted at the side or at the back of a flower border, or centered in island beds to add height. Larkspur is also great as a cut flower, and can be dried for winter bouquets.

Related species and varieties: Many true perennial delphiniums can be grown as summer annuals. Pacific hybrids and hybrids of Delphinium belladonna are also popular. Compact hybrids grown from seed include Blue Springs and Blue Fountains. The Imperial series is a favorite, as it branches freely from the base. Dozens of larkspur selections in mixes or single colors are available. The scientific name for larkspur is Consolida ambigua.

For more gardening information, check out our articles on annual flowers, annuals, and perennial flowers.

FAQ

1. What is Larkspur?

Larkspur is a flowering plant that belongs to the buttercup family. It is commonly known for its tall stalks that produce spikes of blue, pink, purple, or white flowers. The plant’s scientific name is Consolida ajacis, and it is native to Europe and Asia. Larkspur is an annual plant, meaning it completes its life cycle in one growing season. It is often used in gardens and floral arrangements, and its flowers are known for their beauty and delicate appearance.

2. What is Annual Delphinium?

Annual Delphinium is another name for Larkspur. It is a flowering plant that produces tall spikes of colorful flowers. The plant is an annual, meaning it completes its life cycle in one growing season. Annual Delphinium is native to Europe and Asia and is often used in gardens and floral arrangements. It is known for its beauty and delicate appearance and is a popular choice for cut flowers.

3. How do you care for Larkspur?

Larkspur is a relatively easy plant to care for. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil. The plant should be watered regularly, but be careful not to overwater, as this can cause the roots to rot. Larkspur should be fertilized once a month during the growing season. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, will encourage the plant to produce more blooms. Larkspur is also susceptible to powdery mildew, so it’s important to provide good air circulation around the plant.

4. When should I plant Larkspur?

Larkspur should be planted in the spring after the last frost. The seeds can be sown directly in the garden, or started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Larkspur prefers cool temperatures and will not tolerate high heat, so it’s important to plant it early enough in the season to allow it to mature before the hot weather arrives. Larkspur can also be planted in the fall in areas with mild winters.

5. Can Larkspur be grown in containers?

Yes, Larkspur can be grown in containers. It’s important to choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep and has good drainage. Larkspur prefers full sun, so the container should be placed in a sunny location. The plant should be watered regularly, but be careful not to overwater, as this can cause the roots to rot. Larkspur should be fertilized once a month during the growing season, and deadheading will encourage the plant to produce more blooms.

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