Monday, May 11, 2009

Candle Delphinium

Candle Delphiniums
Delphinium elatum
(del-FIN-ee-um) (el-AH-tum)
Synonyms: Larkspur

This picture is from yesterday when I visited Planting Fields Arboretum for a couple of hours. They had a nice assortment of Delphiniums blooming in the Main Greenhouse. This is my second go around with the Delphiniums as they were blooming in San Diego when we were there in February. Not sure if that is when they bloom there or they were forced. In the greenhouse they mixed the Delphiniums with Foxglove and Hydrangeas and it was a nice combination.

Delphiniums are a great flower. Even though I have been growing them for years I am not exactly sure of the best cultural practices. Lately we have been treating them as biennials and replacing them or adding a few plants each year. Dividing them just hasn’t worked for us and now if a plant lives more than 2 or 3 years I consider that a bonus. There are a few things I know they don’t like. Winter drainage is important as is not cultivating deeply around the plants.

All that being said Delphiniums are worth the extra work. It is a stately and elegant flower that comes in a fantastic range of colors and shades. The scientific name evolves from the Greek for Dolphin since the ancient Greeks thought the buds looked like Dolphins. The common name ‘Larkspur’ was given since the flower resembles a lark’s claw.

At Planting Fields the Azaleas were at their peak. It was amazing. There must have been 30 different shades of just coral colored types as well as every other color of Azalea. There will be a few pictures of them this week. Lucky I got there earlier as the line to get into the place was huge when I was leaving at around 1:30pm.


T and S said...

I loved the first image of the Candle Delphiniums. Its beautiful

Eric said...

Great pics and blog! I had Guardian Blue delphiniums in the past but they didn't come back last year. Maybe it's time to head to the garden store...