Durable, long-lasting blooms are beginning to make their presence known in thriving perennial beds, ushering in the heat of the summer with their nonstop color. Among the more common shades of pinks, oranges, and more, the less common true-blue color of dramatic Delphinium spikes stand out from the rest, providing wonderful contrast in sunny perennial borders.
Delphinium (del-FIN-ee-um), of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, are native to numerous diverse regions of the northern hemisphere and provide wonderful dimension in the garden with their showstopping spires of blooms. Featuring deeply lobed, palmate or fern-like green leaves, Delphinium, or Larkspur, begin blooming in early summer, whereafter they continue to bloom throughout the season. Ranging in size from roughly two feet round to over five feet tall, depending on variety, flowering stems vary widely in dimension, featuring numerous single or double flowers composed of five petal-like sepals which grow together, forming a hollow pocket with its namesake spur at the end.
While Delphinium are most well-known for their unique shades of blue, a wide selection of hybrids exist, ranging from typical blues and purples, including the wonderful double purple flowers of ‘Delgenius™ Breezin,’ and the deep blue double flowers of ‘Dark Blue Dark Bee’ and their blue-black centers or “bees,” to the beautiful lighter purple flowers of ‘Delphina™ Rose White Bee' with white “bee” centers, and even red, pink, and white cultivars as well.
Preferring areas with moist, well-drained soils in full sun, larkspur are a phenomenal deer and rabbit resistant addition to cottage gardens, mixed borders, and foundation plantings, and are also wonderful as cut flowers, making Delphinium a unique and wonderful selection for nearly any garden space.