Larkspur Consolida ajacis Giant Imperial Series
The Consolida ajacis Giant Imperial Series, commonly known as larkspur, is a captivating flowering plant with a distinctive appearance. It is characterized by its striking, vibrant flowers that range in color from deep blues and purples to lighter pinks and whites. These blossoms are densely packed on a tall spike, which rises above the foliage, giving the plant a regal and impressive presence in the garden. Each flower on the spike resembles a small, intricate dolphin or spurred helmet due to its unique shape, with one elongated petal extending backwards to form a spur that gives the plant its common name. The larkspur's foliage is also notable for its finely divided, feathery texture, which provides an excellent backdrop to the showy flowers. The leaves are typically a medium to dark green color, which contrasts beautifully with the vivid floral hues. With its combination of striking blooms and delicate foliage, the larkspur makes a dramatic and elegant addition to any flower bed or border, often used as a backdrop for other lower-growing plants.
About this plant
Giant Imperial Larkspur, Doubtful Knight's Spur, Rocket Larkspur.
Delphinium ajacis, Consolida ambigua, Delphinium ambiguum, Consolida hispanica.
Color of leaves
3 feet (91 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Value: Larkspur, especially the Giant Imperial Series, is valued for its tall, colorful spikes of flowers that add beauty and vertical interest to gardens.
- Attracts Pollinators: Its flowers are known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, which are crucial for the pollination of many plants.
- Cut Flower Use: Larkspur's long stems and vibrant blooms make it an excellent choice for cut flower arrangements, adding elegance and height to bouquets.
- Companion Planting: Larkspur can be used in companion planting to help deter certain pests and can be beneficial for the growth of other plants.
- Seasonal Color: It provides a burst of color in the garden when it blooms in late spring to early summer, filling a bloom gap between spring bulbs and summer perennials.
- Easy to Grow: Larkspur is relatively easy to cultivate from seed and grows quickly, making it a rewarding plant for gardeners of varying experience levels.
- Variety of Colors: Available in a range of colors, including blues, purples, pinks, and whites, allowing gardeners to choose the hues that best fit their garden's color scheme.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Larkspur, specifically the leaves and stems, can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, providing a range of colors from greens to blues depending on the mordant used.
- The flowers of the Larkspur can be pressed and included in decorative crafts such as bookmarks, greeting cards, or framed botanical art.
- Dried Larkspur flowers can be incorporated into potpourri mixes to add color and a mild fragrance to a room.
- The Larkspur plant can be used as a teaching tool in gardening classes or horticultural therapy due to its interesting growth pattern and maintenance needs.
- Gardeners sometimes use the tall and colorful spikes of Larkspur to create a natural backdrop or privacy screen in gardens.
- In floristry, Larkspur stems can be used as a natural support structure for other, more delicate flowers that might require staking in arrangements.
- Larkspur petals can be scattered on tables or pathways for decorative purposes during outdoor events such as weddings or garden parties.
- The Larkspur's tall and striking appearance makes it suitable for creating visual transitions in landscaped areas, like between different garden 'rooms' or outdoor spaces.
- When dried, the seed pods of Larkspur can be used in arts and crafts for their unique shape and texture, making them an interesting addition to wreaths or dried bouquets.
- Due to their height, Larkspurs are often used as cut flowers in tall centerpieces, providing structure and a splash of color.
- Feng Shui
The Larkspur is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Larkspur is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Deception or Trickery: The Consolida ajacis, commonly known as Larkspur, has been associated with deception due to its close resemblance to another plant, Delphinium, often leading to confusion.
- Open Heart: Some believe the Larkspur symbolizes an open heart, possibly owing to the openness of its flowers.
- Levity: The lightness of the Larkspur's flowers on their tall spikes can be seen as a metaphor for a carefree or light-hearted attitude.
- Ardent Attachment: In the Victorian language of flowers, Larkspurs have represented an ardent attachment, suggesting a strong bond or affection between people.
- Fickleness: Conversely, the ease with which some species of Larkspur shed their petals has also come to represent a sense of fickleness or inconsistency in emotions or allegiances.
Larkspur, particularly the Giant Imperial Series, should be watered regularly to maintain evenly moist soil as they prefer consistent moisture. It is advisable to water larkspur deeply once a week with about 1 gallon of water per plant, adjusting for rainfall, to ensure the roots are adequately hydrated. During periods of high heat or drought, increase watering frequency to twice a week. It is important to avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk of foliar diseases. Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogging, which larkspur does not tolerate well.
Larkspur thrives in full sun conditions, requiring at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot for larkspur would be in an area with clear exposure to the south or west to maximize the amount of sunlight it receives. If grown in partial shade, the plant may become leggy and produce fewer flowers, so full sun is essential for robust growth and bloom production.
Larkspur prefers moderate temperatures, ideally between 55°F and 65°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 40°F and maximum temperatures of about 75°F but may start to show signs of stress outside of this range. During the germination phase, the soil temperature should be around 60°F to 68°F to facilitate optimal growth.
Larkspur should be pruned to remove faded flowers, a practice known as deadheading, which encourages additional blooming. Pruning can be done every few weeks during the blooming season to keep the plants looking tidy and to promote continuous flower production. The best time for a more substantial pruning is in late fall or early spring, where you can cut back the spent stems to the ground level to prepare for new growth.
Larkspur (Consolida ajacis) thrives in well-draining soil with a pH range of 6.1 to 7.8. A mix of loamy soil with compost and a bit of sand is ideal to ensure proper drainage. Adding bone meal to the soil mix can encourage strong root development.
Larkspurs are typically not repotted as they are annual plants; they complete their life cycle within one growing season. Plant seeds or start new plants outdoors each year for continued blooms.
- Humidity & Misting
Larkspur prefers moderate humidity levels; however, it is not particularly sensitive to humidity variations. Ensure good air circulation to prevent disease, particularly in humid conditions.
- Suitable locations
Keep in full sun, well-draining soil, and in cool conditions.
Plant in full sun, in fertile, well-drained soil, after frost.
- Life cycle
The Larkspur, particularly the Consolida ajacis Giant Imperial Series, begins its life cycle when seeds are sown directly into the ground after the danger of frost has passed. The seeds germinate within 2-3 weeks, and the young plants spend several weeks developing their root systems and vegetative structures. As the larkspurs grow, they develop tall spires with deeply lobed leaves, eventually reaching their full height of 1 to 3 feet. Flowering usually occurs in the late spring to early summer, displaying a range of colors such as blue, purple, pink, or white. After pollination by insects, the flowers produce small, black, wrinkled seeds in capsule-like fruits. The plant completes its life cycle by senescing and dying after seed dispersal, and can self-seed in suitable conditions for the next growing season.
Spring to early summer
Propogation: Larkspur, scientifically known as Consolida ajacis Giant Imperial Series, is a popular flowering plant known for its tall spikes of colorful blooms. The most common method of propagation for Larkspurs is by seed. To propagate these plants, seeds should ideally be sown directly into the garden in fall or early spring when the soil temperature is around 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 18 degrees Celsius). Sowing in autumn allows the seeds to experience a cold period, which can promote better germination. When planting, seeds should be placed at a depth of about 1/8 inch (about 3 millimeters) and spaced adequately to allow for full growth. Larkspur seeds usually germinate within 20 to 25 days. Once the seedlings have developed their first true set of leaves, they can be thinned to avoid overcrowding. It is important to note that Larkspur does not transplant well due to its long taproot, making direct sowing the most preferable propagation method.