Delphinium (Delphinium formosum)
Delphiniums [dell-FIN-ee-yums], wonderful bloomers and easy to grow, are show stoppers. Their tall, stately flower spikes dominate flower beds and borders in early summer. Technically perennials because they survive winters and bloom in successive years, many delphiniums actually last only 2 or 3 years. While there are many species of delphinium, the Hardy Garland Larkspur, is the most commonly grown one in this country. Annual versions of delphinium are also called larkspur.
Size: Delphiniums grow 3 to 4 feet tall. Mature plants measure 12 to 15 inches across.
Flowers: Delphinium flowers are densely arrayed on tall spikes that tower over other plants in the garden. Each flower has five brightly colored modified leaves that serve as petals, one of which has a long spur . Flowers may be single, semi-double or double, and are about 2 inches across. Although delphiniums are best known for their purple, lavender and true blue colors, they also come in red, white, pink and yellow.
Foliage: Delphinium leaves are large, divided in a palm-like fashion into 5 to 7 deeply toothed lobes. Most cluster near the base of the plant on their own stems, while a few branch off the flower stalks.
New For 2004
Delphinium 'Guardian' Delphinium elatum
Very uniform blooming. This stately 24- to 36-inch tall perennial (zones 4 to 7) has thinner, stronger stems perfect for home garden cutflowers. Series includes Blue, Early Blue, Lavender and White. (Grown by PanAmerican Seed)
New For 2003
Delphinium 'Butterfly Mix' The 'Butterfly' series is a rich and long flowering strain for use in beds, pots and patio containers. It has a neat and compact plant habit, 16-inch height, and can generally be grown as an annual. Available in Blue, Rose, Light Blue, White and a mixture. (Hem Zaden B.V.)
New For 2002
Delphinium 'Sky Lights Mix' - Compact bushy plants, covered with large spurred flowers. Well-balanced mixture of Deep Blue, Light Blue and White. First year flowering perennial, spectacular in the second and later seasons for its flower abundance. (Kieft)
Other popular delphinium varieties include the `Belladonna' and `Connecticut Yankee' hybrids.