Larkspur FlowerCare and Facts
Larkspurs have incredibly striking flowers. Aside from the intriguing name, their eye-catching colours and tall stems make larkspurs stand out in any crowd. Discover what makes these flowers so special, from what a larkspur looks like to its fascinating meanings and uses.
Facts about larkspur
Larkspurs were given their unusual name because of the signature spiked flower head, which resembles a lark’s claw or spur. Having originated in the Mediterranean, they were brought to Britain in the mid-1500s and have long been a feature in our gardens and countryside.
During the Victorian era, larkspur was thought to hold off evil, and as a result was common in gardens and a popular flower in Victorian cottages.
Meaning of larkspur
You won’t get bored with the larkspurs. They come in a variety of different colours, from warm yellows and reds to the striking indigo blue shades they are most known for. The shape of the larkspur flower symbolises an open heart and is considered to be a romantic flower, but different colours can have their own unique meanings too:
- Blue – can symbolise dignity and grace.
- Pink – although pink usually represents love and friendship, pink larkspur can represent fickleness or change.
- White – white larkspur represents happiness and optimism.
- Purple – symbolises first love, and a deeper indigo can represent mystery and power.
- Red – represents love and passion.
Types of larkspur
There are lots of varieties of larkspur to choose from, with different petal shapes and stem sizes. Discover some of our favourites to add to your next flower arrangement:
Larkspur Rose (Consolida ambigua)
Have rose-coloured petals that are densely packed in a spiral shape. The stems grow up to 90cm, making them perfect as cut flowers.
‘Cloud’ Larkspur (Consolida regalis)
Feature small, dainty flowers that grow in ‘clouds’ rather than densely packed spikes. Cloud larkspurs add a colourful pop of violet blue to lift any bouquet.
Giant Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)
known for their large, dramatic flowers that make an impact. They come in white, pink, purple and blue, and still look beautiful when dried.
Are larkspur and delphiniums the same?
Although they look very similar, larkspur and delphinium are not the same flower. Delphinium is a type of flower classification that encompasses around 300 different flower species, including the larkspur. This basically means they are like cousins of the flower world.
The main difference is that delphinium flowers are perennials and will come into flower year after year, compared to larkspur which are annual and usually only flower once.
Planning a bouquet and don’t know which to pick? Delphinium flowers tend to be larger and more densely packed than larkspur and are predominantly blue or white. On the other hand, larkspurs come in a greater variety of colours – making them perfect for any occasion. Because larkspurs are a little smaller than their delphinium relatives, they work well in wedding bouquets and hand-held arrangements.
Larkspur and bees
Larkspur attracts long-tounged bees because of their hidden nectar spurs, which require a longer tongue to reach.
Perhaps a lesser-known fact about bees is that not every bee can successfully pollinate every flower, with different bee species having different tongue lengths. Long-tongued bees are often specialised to pollinate long flowers that have deeper pocketed nectar. If you’re planning a bee-friendly space, it’s good to have a variety of flowers, with long tongue-friendly flowers like larkspur in the mix.
Planting bee-friendly flowers will encourage bees to visit your garden and help support local hives. Discover the best plants for bees to support our furry friends in our own gardens.
Are larkspurs poisonous to pets?
All parts of the larkspur are poisonous because they contain toxic levels of alkaloids, with the seeds being the most dangerous. This means these bright beauties cannot be eaten and should be kept out of reach of animals and children.
So, while they may look enticing, if you’re looking for a flower to garnish your salad or add some pizzazz to your flower birthday cake be sure to stick to the edible ones.
Larkspur care tips
Properly caring for larkspur flowers means you get to enjoy them for longer and keep them living their best life.
When preparing flowers to be placed in a vase, cut the stems on an angle so they have more surface area to take up water. It’s good to clean out your vase before adding water to make sure there is no bacteria hanging about. Remember to top up the vase regularly to keep those beauties hydrated.
Larkspur enjoy the sun but be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent them drying out too fast. Place them on your coffee table as a centrepiece to brighten up the room and arrange them with similarly coloured flowers for a sophisticated tonal look.
While the main attraction will undoubtedly be the larkspur’s colourful petals, you can also incorporate the feathery green foliage of a larkspur stem into your bouquet if you’re looking for something a little different.
How to dry larkspur flowers
If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your lovely larkspur, there are plenty of ways to re-purpose them once you dry them out. An easy and popular method for drying flowers is to hang them upside down. Tie the stems together with a piece of string and leave them to hang in a cool, dry place for around two weeks. Become an expert and discover everything you need to air dry flowers.
The plus side to this method is that your larkspur flowers will retain their original shape because they’ve been left to hang freely, so you can immortalise the larkspur’s unique spiky petals. If you’re looking to put your dried flowers in a card or picture frame, then you could try pressing them between the pages of a book, so they lie flat.
Larkspurs can be the star of the show in a bouquet, with delicately shaped petals and plenty of stunning colours to choose from. If you’re looking for a bunch of flowers to brighten up your home, browse our range of flower bouquets.