Tall, colourful, towers of dreams, we just adore Delphiniums. And we love them even more knowing that they’re not just a pretty face.
Did you know that these beauties have been a staple in gardens for centuries, and had cultural and religious importance in ancient Greece? How about their deadly nature? Or their history of being used for medicine, from battlefields to helping the ancients sleep?
Have we piqued your interest? These bold flowers are packed full of meaning, and have an incredibly fascinating history. Let’s unpack as much information as possible about these gorgeous blooms with some fun facts.
Fun Facts About Delphiniums
1. There are over 300 species of Delphinium.
2. These species include both annual and perennial flowering plants!
3. They are also part of the Ranunculaceae family, so they’re the cousins of Buttercups, Hellebore, and Monkshood.
4. These big beautiful flowers can grow up to a whopping 6 ft in height!
5. Delphiniums come in many colours; most commonly blue, pink, and white. In fact, they are one of the few true blue flowers. But they are also found in red, yellow, and purples.
6. They grow naturally all over the Northern Hemisphere, but can also be found on top of mountains in Tropical Africa.
7. Delphiniums come in two loose groups – one shorter and one taller. The group that mainly grows in prairies or sagebrush steppes is shorter with fewer flowers. The taller group with bigger blooms is more often found in forests.
8. The black or white centres of the flowers are known as bees!
9. Speaking of bees, Delphiniums are pollinated by both butterflies and bumble bees.
10. There are a couple of different theories on the origin of the name Delphinium. The most common one is that it comes from the ancient Greek word “delphínion”, meaning dolphin, as the shape of the flower resembles these beautiful creatures.
11. Another theory also comes from ancient Greece. The sun god Apollo supposedly favoured Delphiniums, so they were placed at altars in his temples. Because of this, the flowers were named after the famous temple of Delphi.
12. The leaf fronds and fibrous stalks were once used to make wound dressings, which some say is the reason for their genus name “Consolida”, coming from the Latin word for consolidate or to make firm.
13. These flowers have many connections to Greek mythology, including myths about their origins. It’s said that these flowers originally blossomed from the blood of the legendary hero Ajax, who died in combat during the Trojan War.
14. Delphiniums also have ties to ancient Egypt, where they were used to decorate mummies.
15. The common name of many species of Delphinium is ‘Larkspur’ due to the shape of the spurred calyx (the green sepal base of the flower), which resembles the back spur of a lark.
16. In England, they’ve also earned the nickname ‘Queen of the Border’, due to their tall nature which makes them excellent border plants in garden beds.
17. If you’re born in July, you’re lucky to have Delphinium as your birth month flower!
18. They aren’t just for July babies, though! They make great meaningful gifts, symbolising joy, goodwill, and protection.
19. In the Victorian language of flowers, Delphinium also signifies the dreamer’s heart.
20. The various colours also have individual meanings. Blue flowers mean dignity and grace, while pink symbolises new life – which makes them a great present for parents of newborns.
21. The vivid colours of Delphinium aren’t just pretty, the juice of the flowers can also be used to make blue ink when mixed with alum!
22. Delphiniums were historically used medicinally. They have been said to improve asthma, cure scorpion stings, and even repel parasites such as lice.
23. However, we don’t recommend you go ahead and start using them for your ailments! All plants in the Delphinium family are toxic to humans, and also livestock. In fact, tall Larkspur is a leading cause of poisoning in cattle in the western United States.
The dreamy Delphinium
Despite their deadly nature, these flowers provide a unique beauty in any arrangement. Coming in a wide array of colours, with tall elegant stands of flowers, they’re not one to miss out on.
Whether you’re buying a present for someone born in July, sending well wishes for new parents, or just taking joy in Larkspur yourself, we know you’ll be singing like it’s namesake. They bloom in the spring and summer, so check locally to get your hands on the dreamy Delphinium while you can. You can find them in our Bora Bora, Fiji, and Valencia bouquets.