Delphinium Delirium

May 19th, 2010

This would be the problem with working in a garden center.

The sack full of plants that tend to follow you home.



Every year I find a new favorite.




This year I am all about the delphiniums.




It makes me think of wedding cakes.

And wedding dresses.

And other wedding…



Delphinium is in the Buttercup Family.



This is who I think of whenever I hear the words ‘buttercup’.




The scientific name?

Why  Ranunculacea of course!  

Which I guess means dolphin?

Because of the shape of the opening of the flower?

I think someone was smoking a funny flower when they saw a dolphin in a delphinium!




The common name is


Or Lark’s Heel, Lark’s Claw and Knight’s Spur.

Which of course makes me think of the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Even though he wasn’t a knight.
He was kind of a knight.



Larkspur also makes me think of some of my Nancy Drew books.

Please note that both versions of the same book feature a frightened elderly woman,a wheel chair, an imposing white mansion, a wire fence,

Nancy (of course)

And an abundance of Larkspur.  

I don’t remember the story line in this book, but I have a bad feeling about the man with the raised fist.




I got all the delphiniums in the sack planted.  The trouble is – they look like they have just been planted.

So I will wait until they spruce up a bit.

Fill out



It’s nice to think that there’s one photography subject that actually looks better when it’s plumped out.

The delphiniums above were photographed at the Garden Center.

They don’t look this good at my house…

They still need to put on a few pounds.


  • JJ:

    The larkspur is beautiful – now I need to go get some!

  • M.R.:

    delphiniums — Wow!

  • They look beautiful. They seem like they get a lot of flowers and look gorgeous because the flowers seem so close to one another. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before.

  • I love delphiniums and larkspur and all their cousins. It’s hard to grow them at my place though. Lupine does okay, so I stick with that. And big fat red poppies. LOVE those.

  • Samantha:

    Beautiful! I may just go out and get me some. I love your references and your wit!

  • Oh, I love delphiniums! I don’t see the dolphin, either. So if I were to get some of these, where should I plant them? In the sun or the shade?

  • Anonymous:

    Dang. I seem to have developed your problem and I don’t even work at a garden center. I’m doing well this year. So far I’ve only bought a few gardenia’s and my seeds for the veggie garden. But now? I’m going to have to get me some Larkspur this weekend. GORGEOUS!

  • And I apparently can’t remember to type in the little boxes… Really, I’m not afraid to admit my failings. : )

  • I had one delphinium at my old house and every year when it bloomed, it gasped at the vividness of the blue. Funny! I took a photo of the delphinium at Target a few days ago because I so wanted to buy it but didn’t. Now I think I’ll go back and buy it and plant it in a pot anyway.

  • Jenni in KS:

    And when I think of Larkspur, I think of an over-priced restaurant in Wichita’s Old Town which is just not as good as they seem to think it is. But think of Larkspur and Buttercup and Delphiniums…as you wish:o) A buttercup by any other name smells just as…wait, I don’t think they do smell particularly sweet. Do they? Well, they’re pretty anyway.

  • Nanc in Ashland:

    Well of course plants follow you home! Me too, they haven’t heard about my black thumb. But Rechelle, what about the ROUSes? Sorry–couldn’t resist. You have read the book as well as seen the movie, right?

  • Rechelle:

    Kelley – The ones I have prefer the sun – but can take a bit o’ shade.

  • Those are GORGEOUS – wow! I adore the coloring on that first one – do you know if that variety has a name? It may be my new most favorite ever.

  • Action Squirrel:

    I love larkspur. It’s my birth month flower. I’m not really sure what that means, but it is true.

  • Alison:

    We just watched that movie this afternoon! My kids love it. The flowers are beautiful. I wish I didn’t kill every plant I’ve ever owned.

  • Kate – It’s blue butterfly or delphinium grandiflorum. It’s is also my favorite and is even more eye catching in person.

  • LucyJoy:

    Oh! I haven’t thought of delphiniums in years! I couldn’t grow them at our old house; too shady. But, I have lots of sun now! I think I’m going to have to go get some! Thanks for the idea!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    An older lady on my walk to work used to have a side yard full of them. She said she threw the seed out there and left them to re-seed every year. It was lovely and casual.

    Are these related to ranunculus? (sp?) They don’t look at all similar. Mine died. Or someone mowed them, a common fate in my yard.

    Perhaps I need to visit the garden center again….

  • Robbyn:

    Gorgeous! I love delphiniums and stock and foxglove. You’ve got the climate for those english garden faves, but they don’t do well down here…enjoy! Oh the perqs of working at a garden center :)

  • Anonymous:

    *claps* I had delphiniums in my wedding bouquet!

  • km:

    Do you know the seex fingerd man ?

  • Deb:

    I had a friend who had a cottage garden in a protected L shaped area formed by her house and the backdrop was delphiniums. Absolutely gorgeous.

  • GA in GA:

    I do not have delphiniums this year, which makes me sad. But our foxgloves have been incredible this spring, beyond any display from previous years.

    But I miss the blues of the delphiniums.

  • So many little comments come to mind with this post….

    Delphinium=wedding. I did a wedding cake last year that was decorated with only bluebird blue delphinium blossoms. The petals rained over it. Was really pretty.

    I worked at a Garden Center (baking in the cafe) and LOVED my nursery discount. Wasn’t good for my paycheck.

    Delphinium and Digitalis blooming at the nursery? People will take them home and they’ll be done for the summer! It’s only May!

    I am curious to research the larkspur and Ranunculacea references. I’ll take your word for it but I thought Larkspur was a completely different plant with similar flowers and is Delphinium related to Ranuncula?

  • Anoria:

    Ooohhh, I know delphinium and I’d heard of larkspur but I had no idea they were the same plant. I now feel educated.

    Also, Princess Bride references make the world go ’round, and make me very happy. Thanks for adding those :)

  • They are stunning. Keep doing great jobs