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Delphinium

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
del-FIN-ee-um
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Delphinium is a genus of herbaceous, flowering plants containing more then 500 species. These native species, commonly called Larkspurs, include annuals, biennials, and perennials and can often be found growing wild in forests or natural areas in rich woods and in mountains. Some spread in disturbed areas in woods and fields and can become weedy in gardens. Most of the plants sold today are complex hybrids although the Larkspur species that return from seed or perennial rootstocks every year perform much better in the warm gardens of the South than the hybrid Delphiniums. The genus name comes from the Greek word delphis meaning dolphin in reference to the flower bud shape of some species resembling a dolphin.

Delphinium do best in fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun and tolerates alkaline soils. The plant prefers cool summers, but will do well if protected with afternoon shade in hot summer climates. It can be a challenge to grow them in humid summer climates south of USDA Zone 7. Delphiniums require considerable maintenance (staking, pruning, deadheading, disease control) in order to perform well in the garden. Plants, especially taller varieties, require protection from strong winds and rain storms by means of shelter and staking. After bloom, promptly cut back spent flowers to the basal foliage for additional late summer and fall blooms.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis blight, leaf spots and crown rot. Plants in full sun generally show better resistance to powdery mildew. Water plants at the base to avoid wetting the foliage. Crown rot will inevitably develop if plants are grown in poorly drained soils or planted too deep. Slugs and snails can do significant damage. Watch for aphids, leaf miners, stem borers and mites.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Flowers Galore
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#poisonous#full sun tolerant#annuals#drought tolerant#perennials#white flowers#pink flowers#NC native#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#poisonous#full sun tolerant#annuals#drought tolerant#perennials#white flowers#pink flowers#NC native#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Delphinium
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Temperate and Subtropical Old World, North America
    Distribution:
    Throughout Europe, Asia, North and Central Africa, North and Central America.
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Drought tolerant
    Edibility:
    Poisonous. Plants are considered toxic to humans if ingested.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit dry, many seeded.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Flowers bloom from May to mid-Summer in terminal, elongated clusters, blue to purple or nearly white, with a single spur on the back side.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves alternate, long-stalked, palmately divided or lobed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Burning of lips and mouth, numbness of throat; intense vomiting and diarrhea, muscular weakness and spasms, weak pulse, paralysis of the respiratory system, convulsions. Can cause serious illness or death. Unless there is a lack of suitable forage, horses typically do not consume toxic amounts of larkspur. The toxicity of the plant may vary depending on seasonal changes and field conditions; as the plant matures, it generally becomes less toxic. Clinical effects include constipation, colic, increased salivation, stiffness, recumbency, and convulsions. Cardiac failure may occur, as can death from respiratory paralysis.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids delphinine, ajacine, and others.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Seeds
    Stems