10 Popular Larkspur Types

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Larkspur is a herbaceous perennial in the buttercup family, making it a relative of landscape plants. It's also known as delphinium consolida, with some types of larkspur bearing the more common name delphinium. Gaining in popularity in home gardens, gardeners can choose from several plant types when planting.

Learn about the different types of larkspur, how to identify them, and how to care for them, so they thrive in your garden. Read on

1. Black Knight Larkspur or Delphinium Black Knight

This is a perennial that usually reaches a height of 2-3 feet. The Black Knight cultivar has semi-double, purple flowers. It gets its name from the deep shade of its flower color. The blooming period is summer, and it may even rebloom in the early fall. This is one of the easiest types of larkspur delphinium at garden centers and home improvement stores outside of the types with blue flowers. If you’re looking for gorgeous flower garden ideas, consider black night.

Black Knight Larkspur
Image credit: https://www.gardenia.net/

2. Astolat Larkspur or Delphinium Astolat Group

This cultivar of larkspur delphinium is known for its blue flower color and may reach a height of 3 feet. The Astolat Group has semi-double flowers in pink or lavender-pink. The blooming period is from early summer to mid-summer. It’s a grouping for the popular Pacific giant hybrid.

3. Galahad Larkspur or Delphinium Galahad Group

This is a hybrid cultivar from the Candle or Alpine larkspur species and has a longer lifespan than many types of larkspur. The flowers are snow white and stand out against the plant's dark green leaves. In some other cultivars with white flowers, the flowers have a black center. Galahad provides a choice for gardeners who want pure white. It blooms in early summer and mid-summer.

4. Golden Larkspur or Delphinium Luteum Group

This larkspur has yellow blossoms and is native to the Mediterranean. It grows in loose clumps of alternating leaves. The plant reaches around three feet tall. They are coarsely textured, and the blooms open in mid-summer.

Golden Larkspur
Image credit: https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/

Wild Golden Larkspur is an endangered species in many areas. If you choose to grow Golden Larkspur, make sure you purchase larkspur seeds or plants from a reputable source. Other endangered species include baker’s larkspur, also known as Delphinium bakeri, and yellow larkspur. Delphinium is a genus of about 250 species of annual, biennial, or perennial flowering plants. The common name, shared with the closely related genus Consolida, in Larkspur.

5. Red Lark Larkspur or Delphinium Red Lark

Red is the unusual color for larkspur plants, making Red Lark a great find for gardeners who seek the unusual. Red Lark prefers full sun and is cold hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. It's moderately tall and produces blooms earlier than statelier kinds of Delphinium. This larkspur variety is sure to attract attention in your flowerbed.

Red Lark Larkspur
Image credit: https://img.crocdn.co.uk/

6. Summer Skies Larkspur or Delphinium Summer Skies

Delphinium Summer Skies is a year-round delight for gardeners. This compact larkspur reaches two feet tall and wide and produces long-lasting blooms in shades of pink, blue, lavender, purple, and white from spring through autumn. It's ideal for adding color to your perennial garden or as a stand-alone border. 

It thrives in most soil types and prefers full sun to part shade, though it can tolerate a small amount of shade. In the case of Summer Skies, another Pacific Giant hybrid, the flower color is a pale blue.

7. Cassius Larkspur or Delphinium Cassius

The flower of Cassius Larkspur is similar to that of Blue Mirror, except that the center is black. But, unlike Blue mirror, Cassius is one of the tall types of Delphinium. This Delphinium Elatum hybrid needs to be staked. The plant blossoms in mid-summer.

8. Blue Mirror Larkspur or Delphinium Blue Mirror

This hybrid Delphinium is a cross between wild and cultivated species. The size of the flower on this plant comes in at around 4 inches across, with blue being the most prevalent color. Like Cassius Larkspur, Blue Mirror needs to be staked since it grows up to 5 feet tall.

Although it's blue larkspur, a closer inspection reveals at least three colors in blossom. The center is mainly white, while a generous dose of lavender tinges the blue on the petals. It blooms from late spring through summer.

9. Dwarf Larkspur or Delphinium tricorne

Probably the shortest type of larkspur you can find, dwarf larkspur is a perennial plant with flowers less than an inch across — not to be confused with the dwarf mugo pine plant.  — not to be confused with the dwarf mugo pine plant. . The blooms are usually white to light blue and appear mostly from June until September.

Dwarf Larkspur
Image credit: https://images.csmonitor.com/

It does best in areas where the soil is dry or average, so this flower isn't picky about where it grows. You can find it growing in fields and open areas near trees, as well as on hillsides up to an elevation of 8,000 feet.

Maintaining larkspur plants includes disease control, pruning, staking, and deadheading, but growing this shorter species allows you to skip the staking. The flowers range in color from true blue to violet-blue to purple. Its bloom time is from April to May, making it an early bloomer for larkspur.

10. Guardian Lavender Larkspur or Delphinium Elatum Guardian Lavender

Guardian lavender larkspur is a short variety in the delphinium family, which means it's not for staking. It does well in dry soil, but it also tolerates moist conditions when watered regularly. Guardian Lavender is one of the tallest larkspur at 4 feet tall with spiked flowers about 2 inches long. It has double flowers in the lavender to the mauve range.

Uses and Benefits of Larkspur

Larkspur attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to the yard, but all parts of the larkspur plant are toxic to humans and animals. Precautions to prevent poisoning by pets and children should be taken. Larkspur has also been used to eradicate skin parasites and lice.

How to Care for Fresh Cut Larkspur at Home

Larkspur flowers make attractive cut flowers with approximately one week of vase life. You can display singly in a tall, slender vase or add a mixed floral bouquet to add color and fragrance. Larkspur flowers tend to be fragile and relatively short-lived in the vase, making production for local markets more lucrative. Plant larkspur from seed directly in the garden in early spring.

How to Care for Fresh Cut Larkspur at Home
Image credit: https://i.ytimg.com/

Give your larkspur plants moist, cool, well-drained soil. You can keep the soil cool and moist by furnishing it with mulch. Fertilize your larkspur plants every spring with compost, only if you know how to easily make compost or organic matter.

Stake tall varieties of larkspur to prevent hollow flower stalks from snapping in the wind and deadheaded after flowering to encourage rebloom. After the first killing frost, cut the larkspur's stems back to an inch or two above the soil line.

Prune off the flower stalks after blooming in late summer or early fall. After the first hard freeze of autumn, cut the plant down to ground level and remove the vegetation from the area after the foliage dies back. Because these plants are highly susceptible to diseases, cleanliness in the garden is very important. 

Do not let the old vegetation lie around all winter. Also, do not compost any plant material that you suspect has been infected with any diseases. Remove spent larkspur flowers as needed.

FAQs on Popular Types of Larkspur

Is Delphinium the same as larkspur?

Larkspur looks identical to perennial delphiniums. However, Delphiniums generally have bigger flowers and are more noted for their height. They get anywhere from 2 to 5 feet tall, whereas popular types of larkspur stay around one foot in height.

What do Larkspur flowers symbolize?

Larkspur symbolizes pure and gentle thoughts. Larkspur also stands for truthfulness in love. The specific meaning will vary according to the color of the flower.

Does Larkspur come every year?

Every plant is different. Some plants produce yearly from seeds, and some plants, like Delphiniums, normally grow as perennials and will come back every year. If a plant does not come back every year, it can propagate from cuttings or divide the root ball.

Final Thought on Popular Larkspur Types

As you can see, the alluring flower shape, a wide range of colors, and appealing foliage combine to make larkspur a popular, marketable cut flower. You can use them in patio containers or as edging for beds and borders. As a result of their generally similar floral structure and the absence of genetic barriers to intercrossing, delphinium flowers are known to hybridize in many different combinations.

 

 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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