04 Jul 2011
July’s birth flower is the tall and elegant larkspur, which is from the ranunculaceae plant, also known as delphinium. With the small and abundant flowers on a long, graceful stalk, this flower is great for silk bouquets. With the large stems, these flowers add height and dimension to silk flower arrangements.
The delicate pink variety (there are blue and white as well) is well displayed in this front door wreath of artificial flowers which has a real summer feel to it.
The flower represents an open heart, lightness, levity, swiftness and loving attachment. It is often included in silk bouquets as a symbol of love and joy.
Larkspur For Silk Bouquets
The larkspur is not such a great fresh cut flower for a vase because it doesn’t last long when cut. This isn’t a problem for silk bouquets though where the larkspur positively shines! Nor for fish tanks or aquariums where artificial flowers appear to be an option. This perennial flower is easy to grow in cooler summers and is commonly seen in many old-fashioned English style cottage gardens.
Greek myth has it that the larkspur was created during the Battle of Troy from the blood of Ajax who killed himself when he was rejected as the smartest warrior in the battle in favor of Odysseus. Like all great Greek myths, this version varies somewhat from other records of history at that time – but hey, it’s all wonderfully romantic and colorful!
The name of the larkspur known as delphinium comes from the Latin word ‘delphis’ for dolphin as the shape of the flower with the spur at the base of the flowers looks like a dolphin.
The larkspur is highly toxic in large quantities although extracts of the plant itself have been used in herbal medicines. Makes me wonder who was the guinea pig that proved that drinking the seed of the larkspur helped protect against the sting of scorpions. To be fair, this hasn’t been proven but simply noted in Gerard’s Herbal.
Apparently larkspur tincture is used for asthma and dropsy. In popular medicine the plant was used to protect against eye diseases.
Who knew that the larkspur is a cause of cattle poisoning in the USA, with many farmers delaying moving cattle into fields until the flowering season draws to a close, when the toxicity of the plants is much reduced?
The best story though, and perhaps the winner of ‘most practical usage’ is that the dark blue flowers were used in Transylvania to keep the witches from the stables. Now this could be the best case I’ve heard of for having silk bouquets on hand as that covers the seasons when the larkspur is not flowering!