Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 10:06 am

Delphinium is the scientific name and another name for the larkspur flower. Delphinium is derived from the Greek word delphinion, meaning ‘dolphin.’ This is owing to the shape of the flower since the closed flower buds resemble the nose of a dolphin.

Delphinium is a group or a genus of over 300 species of plants, specifically ones that flower, in the Ranunculaceae family.

The larkspur (delphinium) flower’s petals are elongated, resemble spurs, and are sometimes referred to as a knight’s spur or bird’s claw by certain people, as they resemble claws. These flowers can be found in areas of eastern North America as well as regions of Africa.

The larkspur grows in various settings depending on the species. Species with tall stems and an abundance of flowers grow in forests, and those with short stems and fewer flowers grow in prairies. The flowers are also found in the high mountains of the tropical regions of Africa. 

It is also known by various names like bird’s claw, meadow flowers, and knight’s spur. 

This flower is cultivated by people far and wide and is divided into three broad groups:

  • Belladonnas – these are the tall varieties that grow in the wild. They bloom in the early and late summer and have leaves similar to palm leaves.
  • Elate – these are shrub varieties of delphinium. They also bloom in the summer but may also bloom in autumn if the flowers are cut off. Elatums have flowers with two sets of petals and an outer ring of five petals, and an inner ring of eight.
  • Pacific Hybrids – resemble the Elate group but are much taller and would once grow only hand-pollinated.

What does the Larkspur (Delphinium) flower symbolize?

Larkspur, Purple, Pink, Rose, Flower, Blossoms, Garden

Larkspur (delphinium) has its place in Greek mythology. According to legends, delphinium originates in the blood of Ajax, a Trojan warrior. When he died, these flowers bloomed where his blood fell, and their petals were inscribed with Ai, meaning ‘alas’ in Greek.

This flower’s meaning was employed by some cultures to defend themselves against unpleasant individuals and emotions. This flower was said to protect them from evil and represent good fortune and favorable circumstances. The smell of the larkspur flower, it turns out, was the finest defense against scorpions, as it scared them away.

Although the larkspur flower has mainly good connotations, it can also be a symbol of grief. People place blue larkspur flowers on the graves of those who have died.

The larkspur flower also means caring for anyone, although it is more of a sign of caring for another human being than romantic feelings, which indicates you can give a larkspur flower to your family and friends, as the flower represents solid and unbreakable bonds with them during this case.

The larkspur is a flower that signifies strong love relationships, dedication, positivism, sincerity, and an open heart in flower language. 

This flower also signifies positive encounters, interpersonal connections, and communication. 

All in all, the larkspur (delphinium) flower symbolic meanings are:

  • openness to experience
  • positivity
  • striving
  • protection
  • encouragement
  • remembrance of a loved one who has passed
  • new opportunities
  • positive communication

Meaning of the Larkspur (Delphinium) flower colors

Blue color

Blue is the most common larkspur (delphinium) flower and symbolizes dignity, grace, trust, youth, new beginnings, and reminiscence.

The larkspur flower is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to feel appreciated and supported by you.

White color

White is a symbol of purity, innocence, tranquility, and peace. White flowers are generally used in spiritual rituals, and their symbolic connotation is usually delicate and subtle. 

The white larkspur (delphinium) flower means youth and is often gifted to newborn children or people getting baptized, symbolizing renewal or new life. It is commonly used at marriage ceremonies, baptisms, and as a gift for new parents. 

The white larkspur flower can be presented to almost everyone, and its symbolic connotation isn’t a significant hurdle.

Pink color

Pink is a color that brings back romantic and delicate thoughts. Pink larkspur (delphiniums) also celebrate new life, usually the birth of a female. Other than this, they are also said to represent romance, love, and affection.

This flower is an excellent pick for someone you care about and have played a significant role in your life. This person should be someone you adore, but not necessarily in a romantic way. Love comes in various forms, and this lovely flower may express them.

Purple color

Purple is rare, and it represents royalty, beauty, and spirituality. Purple larkspur’s (delphiniums) unique and regal appearance has led to their representation of royalty and grace.

The purple larkspur flower symbolizes love and expresses one’s uniqueness. This flower color should be given to someone who is different and stands out from the crowd. The perfect larkspur flower will complement the vibrant purple color and convey a sense of independence and caring for this individual.

Interesting facts about the Larkspur (Delphinium) flowers

  • During the Victorian times, larkspur (delphiniums) were very popular as gift flowers.
  • Hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators are drawn to these flowers, yet all plant components harm people and animals.
  • Poisonous alkaloids can be detected in almost every part of the plant.
  • In severe cases, delphinium poisoning can cause death due to its effects on the heart, causing slow heart rate, low blood pressure, breathing difficulty, and its effects on the brain and muscles. Such plants on hills and pastures often cause the death of cattle, which is why many ranchers avoid high elevations where the plant can be found.
  • Dried larkspur blossoms were used to keep scorpions and dangerous snakes at bay.
  • These blossoms were used to make a blue dye by Native Americans and European settlers.
  • Dried flowers were used to frighten away Witches and spirits.
  • Blooms of larkspur were used to heal wounds and parasites such as lice. 
  • Larkspur flower essence is utilized in aromatherapy nowadays.
  • Most species of delphiniums that we see today are hybrids.

How to grow Larkspur (Delphinium) flowers

Depending on the cultivar, larkspur (delphiniums) blooms from early spring to mid-summer. While some bloom for a long time, most only bloom for a few weeks before dying.

  1. Plant the larkspur (delphiniums) in moderately rich, loose, well-draining soil.
  2. Choose a spot that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily.
  3. Treat the plants with a balanced 10-10-10 (NPK) fertilizer according to package instructions when the plants have two to three sets of true leaves.
  4. Repeat this method once a month until the flowers bloom.
  5. Irrigate the plants with an inch of water once or twice a week, depending on the rainfall.

How to care for Larkspur (Delphinium) flowers

  1. Water once or twice a week with one inch of water, as needed.
  2. Fertilize once a month with a general-purpose 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer.
  3. Remove spent flower spikes to lengthen the plant’s flowering season.
  4. Just after each plant blooms, trim a few spikes.

Best time to gift Larkspur (Delphinium) flowers

Larkspurs (delphiniums) are used mainly for ornamental purposes, but these flowers can also make for meaningful gifts. These flowers are suitable for a wide variety of events. They can be given as a housewarming gift or as a birthday gift. They’re also frequently offered in combination with other flowers in other floral arrangements and presentations, making them ideal for almost any event or occasion.

The most obvious would be to someone whose birthday is in July, as it is their birth flower.

The delphinium flower means encouragement and openness to new things. If someone is at a low point in their lives or feels lost, presenting them with these flowers can symbolize your support and encouragement. It can serve as a sign for them to enjoy change and newness.

As mentioned previously, white delphiniums are auspicious for baptisms or newborns.

Delphiniums are also gifted to people when you wish to encourage them to do their best on something. If someone you know has a job interview, a new project, or any such event, gifting them this flower can symbolize your support and protection.


While considered an old-fashioned flower, these stunning flowers are making a great comeback, and it’s worth highlighting their significance because they last a long time as a cut flower.

Larkspur (delphiniums) appear delicate and beautiful yet unassuming. On the other hand, their cultural and symbolic significance is deep and wonderful. The delphinium flower has a variety of meanings, all bringing light, joy, and happiness to the receiver’s life.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!