Larkspur - Mauve / Pink
20 open pollinated seeds from our gardens.
It is essential that larkspur seeds are fresh. These seeds are from this season’s harvest.
Larkspurs are the annual cousins of delphiniums, which are perennials. Whereas delphiniums need cool temperatures, ideal soil moisture and plenty of care, larkspurs are tough, hardy and resilient. They are a beautiful plant for the border, providing colour throughout the summer. Elegant flowers for cutting and drying. Height is to around 80 to 100 cm.
Larkspur tolerate most soil types but good drainage is necessary to prevent root rot. Soil pH 6 to 8. Plants do best in full sun as long as the soil is moist but not waterlogged. They need less moisture than delphiniums, but they will not bloom well in hot and dry conditions. Ground watering is advisable to overhead watering and if the plants get too big, staking may be needed. Slug and snail seem to enjoy these plants, beer traps are a good way to deter these pests.
Seeds need to be sown when temperatures are around 13C but no higher than 18C. Cold stratification is required for larkspur seeds. This can be achieved in a couple of ways: direct sowing where these conditions can be met or placing the seeds in the fridge for a couple of weeks before sowing. Some people recommend placing the seeds between damp paper towel for two weeks. Larkspurs have a long taproot which makes transferring them tricky. Direct sowing is always recommended. In cool areas, autumn sown seeds need to be sown when the plants can develop a strong root system before frosts start.
Larkspurs are excellent cut flowers, lasting up to 10 days as buds continue to open. Cut when the flower spikes are one-quarter to one-half open. Condition overnight in cold water making sure to remove any foliage that will be below the water line. Trim the stems every time you change the water and remove any old florets.
To dry Larkspur, pick the flower stalks when three-quarters of the flowers are open. Individual florets at the base of the stems should be fully open and perfect. Dry in a warm area, away from direct sunlight.
Note: All parts of the plant may cause severe discomfort if ingested including the seeds. Contact with the sap my cause skin irritation.
Other varieties to look out for: Consolida ajacis and Consolida regalis.