Delphinium (Larkspur, Lark's heel, Lark's claw, Knight's spur) is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae
, native throughout Northern Hemisphere and on the high mountains of tropical Africa. The scientific name Delphinium derives from the Latin meaning dolphin. They are mostly cultivated as garden plants and also for flower arrangements.
Delphinium adds height and color to beds and borders. It has beautiful flowers of varying colors, ranging from purple, blue, red, yellow and white. Seeds are small and shiny black.
Delphinium needs full sun, fertile, moisture-retentive, well-drained alkaline soil. Propagate by seed in spring or by basal cuttings in early spring. The plant flowers from late spring to late summer , and butterflies and bumble bees help in pollination. Certain larvae in Lepidoptera like Dot Moth and Small Angle Shades used Delphinium as food plants even though most of the Delphinium species are toxic.
Look out for leaf moth, slugs and snails, blackspot, mildew and viruses as these are pests and diseases known to attack the Delphinium.