Delphinium

Delphiniums I bought from Wagler’s Greenhouse. The tag simply said “Delphinium Mix”. This photo was taken on 6-6-17, #342-5.

Delphinium
del-FIN-ee-um

Plants of the World Online lists the scientific name as Delphinium Tourn. ex L. but when I did the research for the authors’ names, the “Tourn.” was not found… All plant databases describing who, what, when and where all say Delphinium L. is the correct and accepted scientific name. The name Delphinium Tourn. ex L. indicates that “Tourn.” actually named and described the genus before Linnaeus but his description was not valid… There are rules that must carefully be followed but I won’t go into all that on this page. If you would like to read more about that subject, click HERE and scroll down to “Usage of the term “ex”.” Either way, the genus Delphinium was described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

The blue Delphinium on 6-11-17, #343-11.

Plants of the World Online lists 497 accepted species in the genus Delphinium, which include many species formerly of the Consolida genus. Others have been moved to other genera.

Larkspur is a common name shared between perennial Delphinium species and annual species of the Consolida genus. The genus name comes from the Greek word, delphinion, meaning larkspur. The name also comes from the Latin word for dolphin from the shape of the nectary.

According to Plants of the World Online, the genus Consolida is now a synonym of Delphinium. It’s complicated… For example, the Missouri Botanical Garden says Consolida ajacis was formerly Delphinium ajacis. Plants of the World Online says Consolida ajacis is now a synonym of Delphinium ajacis. Both are supposedly current. It has to do with the new APG IV system revised and updated in 2016… They keep updating and confusing everyone and it is just the beginning of more changes to come. They put in, take out, change names, add new to replace old… GEEZ!!! Some reject some accept… I understand their reasoning, and it is progress.

My Larkspur page still says Consolida ajacis because I was siding with The Missouri Botanical Garden on this one. Consolida have commonly been the annual Delphiniums… I don’t know what to think at this point. This is just one of the very few disagreements.

IN 1753, Carl von Linnaeus named the species Delphinium ajacis. In 1853, 100 years later, Philipp Johann Ferdinand Schur renamed it Colsolida ajacis… NOW, YOU MEAN TO TELL ME IT IS DELPHINIUM AGAIN? HERE is a link to my Consolida ajacis page.

 

The white Delphinium on 6-11-17, #343-12.

I am not even going to try and explain the taxonomy of the genus Delphinium. You can read about in the article on Wikipedia HERE. There are species of Delphinium in over half of the world.

The Wikipedia says that Delphinium flowers differ from Consolida flowers in that the latter have an open, loosely branched spike. Delphiniums flowers are in a column…. HOLY CCCCRRRRAAAAPPPP!!!! These plants may not even be Delphiniums. OH, yeah, if the genus name changed, either way they are Delphiniums. They look like the Giant Larkspur from seeds I planted when I lived in Mississippi, Heck, they are they the same plant? Hmmm… I keep updating this page because I keep venting.

 

The blue Delphinium on 6-18-17, #345-15.

I have grown Delphiniums only a couple of times and was very disappointed. The first time is when I moved to the farm after my grandfather passed away in 1981. I bought plants from the local greenhouse, just as I did in the summer of 2017. I always see the photos of Delphiniums on various websites and mine never look like that. There are many hybrids, cultivars, series, etc. that look so amazing and test us to buy. I guess i just haven’t bought the right one. Sometimes photos are taken of the flowers, making them appear larger than they really are… Then when your plants flower, you get a surprise.

 

The white Delphinium with Harvey on 6-24-17, #349-31.

I think Delphiniums would be tricky growing in many areas. They do not like the hot summers of the Midwest, although some species and hybrids may be OK. Even if they like color climates, some areas that have cold winters actually have very hot summers (i.e. Embarrass, Minnesota that reports the hottest summer and coldest winter temperatures in the continental U.S. -40 to 120 degrees F.).

I planted my Delphiniums on the south side of the house but next time I will try the north side. The heat on the south side proved to be too much. It could be growing Delphiniums here just isn’t worth a couple of months of color.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you.

FOR FURTHER READING:
WIKIPEDIA
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
GARDENING KNOW HOW
EMPRESS OF DIRT

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