Larkspur Delphinium 'Raymond Lister'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
delphinium 'Raymond Lister'


The Delphinium 'Raymond Lister' is a captivating garden plant known for its striking appearance. It showcases tall and erect flower spikes that carry dainty flowers in a breathtaking shade of soft blue, often with a hint of lavender. These blossoms have a classic, almost mythical look, typical of cottage gardens, and can be identified by their prominent central bee or eye – a contrasting white or dark area that draws attention and adds depth to the overall look of the flower. This plant bears deeply lobed, green leaves that provide an attractive background for the showy spikes of flowers that bloom in the summer. Each individual flower appears to be intricate in design, with five petal-like sepals that form a cup or trumpet shape around the smaller, true petals and stamens within. The overall growth habit of the Delphinium 'Raymond Lister' is upright and clump-forming, which makes this plant an excellent backdrop in mixed borders or a standout feature in a floral arrangement. Its foliage remains lush and adds texture and interest even when the plant is not in flower. With proper support, the stems stand strong, providing an architectural element to the overall garden design. The aesthetic value of the Delphinium 'Raymond Lister' lends itself well to traditional garden designs, and this plant pairs beautifully with roses, peonies, and other classic garden favorites. This remarkable flower can sometimes attract pollinators, such as bees, which are drawn to its vibrant colors and the promise of nectar.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Larkspur, Delphinium

    • Common names

      Delphinium 'Raymond Lister'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Larkspur is highly toxic to humans if any part of the plant is ingested. Its main toxic components are diterpenoid alkaloids that can cause neuromuscular and cardiotoxic effects. Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, and muscle tremors. More serious consequences can involve bradycardia, arrhythmias, paralysis, and potentially fatal respiratory failure if a sufficient amount of the plant is consumed.

    • To pets

      Larkspur is also highly toxic to pets, causing similar symptoms to those in humans. In pets, ingestion can lead to drooling, staggering, abdominal pain, diarrhea, muscle tremors, cardiac failure, and potentially death. Immediate veterinary care is required if any pet is suspected to have ingested larkspur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 feet [1.2-1.8 meters]

    • Spread

      2 feet [0.6 meters]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Delphiniums are known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, which can help pollinate your garden.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its tall spikes of vibrant blue flowers, the Larkspur adds a dramatic vertical element to any garden design.
    • Cut Flowers: The blooms make excellent cut flowers and can add color and elegance to floral arrangements.
    • Cottage Garden Charm: Larkspurs are quintessential cottage garden plants, lending an old-fashioned charm when planted with roses, peonies, and other classic flowers.
    • Seasonal Color: Delphiniums provide seasonal color in the garden during the summer months when many other flowers have finished blooming.
    • Companion Planting: They can be paired with various plants like foxgloves and daylilies for delightful garden contrasts.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Their structure can provide habitats for small wildlife, such as birds that may nest in the taller varieties.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Delphiniums can be used as a natural dye, providing a range of colors from blue to purple, depending on the mordant used.
    • The tall and sturdy stalks of the Delphinium can be repurposed as natural stakes for supporting other plants in the garden.
    • These flowers can serve as a source of inspiration for artists and photographers, often being featured as subjects in paintings and photographs.
    • Delphinium petals may be used in the crafting of eco-friendly confetti for celebrations as they are biodegradable and non-toxic.
    • The presence of Delphiniums can be used as an indicator of the pH level of soil; they thrive in neutral to slightly alkaline soils.
    • The bloom of Delphiniums is sometimes used in symbolism to represent positivity and openness to new experiences in floral language.
    • Insect enthusiasts may use Delphiniums to attract and study various pollinators such as bees and butterflies due to their nectar-rich flowers.
    • Delphinium seeds, due to their unique appearance, can be used in art and crafts, particularly in jewelry making.
    • The Delphinium plant can be incorporated into a sensory garden for its distinctive texture and colorful blooms that provide visual stimulation.
    • They can be used as part of a natural fencing option when grown in thick rows, providing a semi-private and aesthetically pleasing barrier.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Delphinium is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Delphinium is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Heavenly Qualities: The Delphinium 'Raymond Lister', commonly known as Larkspur, is associated with celestial qualities. Its tall, spire-like blooms reaching upwards often symbolize a connection to the divine.
    • Open Heart and Ardent Attachment: Larkspur is often used to convey openness to feelings and being struck by affection for someone, which harkens back to its use in ancient times as a flower to express strong romantic feelings.
    • Protection: In folklore, Larkspur was believed to ward off spirits and negative energies. It was used in various cultures to protect against scorpions and venomous creatures.
    • Lightness and Levity: The airy quality of Larkspur blooms can symbolize a sense of light-heartedness, joy, and cheerfulness, reminding onlookers to take life a little less seriously.
    • Mourning: Interestingly, Larkspur can also represent mourning. This is likely due to the ephemeral and delicate nature of the flower, linking it to the fleeting quality of life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Delphiniums, commonly known as Larkspur, including the 'Raymond Lister' variety, prefer evenly moist soil; therefore, it is important to maintain consistent watering. They should be watered deeply once a week with approximately one to one and a half gallons of water, depending on the weather conditions; more frequent watering may be necessary during prolonged dry spells or high temperatures. Ensure that the water penetrates the soil to reach the roots rather than just wetting the surface. Additionally, avoid overhead watering to prevent disease; instead, water at the base of the plant early in the day to allow foliage to dry.

  • sunLight

    Larkspur thrives best in full sun conditions, where it can receive at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. The 'Raymond Lister' should be planted in a spot that offers bright and unfiltered sunlight, avoiding heavily shaded areas that could stunt growth and flower production. Dappled sunlight might be acceptable in hotter regions, to protect the plant from intense afternoon sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Larkspur, including the 'Raymond Lister' variety, flourishes in moderate temperatures and can generally tolerate a temperature range from 50°F to 75°F. They can survive minimum temperatures down to about 40°F and should be protected if temperatures are expected to drop further. The ideal growing conditions for Larkspur are in areas where summer temperatures are not excessively high, typically not exceeding 85°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Larkspur benefits from pruning to encourage strong stems, better air circulation, and potentially a second bloom. The 'Raymond Lister' should be deadheaded after the initial flowering to promote new growth and a secondary bloom period. In late fall or early winter, cut back the stems to ground level after the plant has died back. Pruning might also be necessary during the growing season to remove damaged or diseased stems and to maintain a tidy appearance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Larkspur 'Raymond Lister' thrives best in a soil mix that is well-draining and rich in organic matter, with a pH range of 6.1 to 7.8. A blend of loam, compost, and a small amount of sand would be ideal to encourage healthy growth and flowering.

  • plantRepotting

    Larkspur 'Raymond Lister' does not typically require frequent repotting, especially since it is often grown as an annual. However, if grown as a perennial, repotting every 2-3 years or when the plant outgrows its container can be beneficial.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Larkspur 'Raymond Lister' tolerates a wide range of humidity levels but performs best with moderate humidity. Extreme conditions, either too dry or too humid, can stress the plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure full sun, moist soil, and cool temperatures for Larkspur indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Choose a sunny spot, provide rich soil and space out plants for Larkspur outdoors.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Delphinium 'Raymond Lister', commonly known as Larkspur, begins its life cycle when seeds are sown in early spring, needing cold stratification to germinate. Once the seedlings emerge and develop true leaves, they enter the vegetative stage, focusing on leaf and stem growth, usually preferring cool temperatures. The plant then transitions to the reproductive stage, forming tall spires of blue or purple flowers, typically in early to mid-summer, depending on the climate. After pollination by insects, the flowers produce small, shiny black seeds that mature by late summer or early fall. These seeds can be collected and sown directly or stored for the following spring. In colder climates, Delphinium 'Raymond Lister' behaves like a perennial, dying back to the ground in winter and resprouting from the root system in spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Delphinium 'Raymond Lister', also known as Larkspur, typically involves the use of seeds. Propagation by seeds is generally done in early spring when the soil temperature is around 60 to 68°F (15 to 20°C). You can start the seeds indoors about eight weeks before the last expected frost. To do so, begin by spreading the seeds over a well-draining soil mix and cover them lightly with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and ensure that the seeds have plenty of light. The seeds will usually germinate within 2 to 3 weeks. Once seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves and are sturdy enough, they can be transplanted to individual pots or directly into the garden after the danger of frost has passed.