Consolida ajacis
Common Name: giant larkspur
Type: Annual
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Mediterranean
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Blue, pink or white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy

Culture

Cool weather annual. Easily grown from seed in loose, moderately rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Avoid wet soils. In southern climates, sow seed outdoors in fall. In northern climates sow seeds outdoors in early spring. For earlier bloom, sow seed indoors in individual peat pots about 8-10 weeks prior to last spring frost date. Space plants in the garden about 9-12” apart. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong bloom. Plants may self seed in the garden.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Consolida ajacis, commonly called giant larkspur, is native to the southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It is a showy annual that grows 2-3’ (less frequently to 4’) tall on stems clad with deeply cut, palmate leaves. Blue flowers (uncommonly pink or white) bloom in showy spike-like racemes from late spring throughout summer in cool northern climates. In the deep South, plants tend to die out from the heat by mid summer. Each flower has a distinctive spur. Plants have escaped gardens and naturalized in many parts of the U. S. Dwarf to tall cultivars in single or double form expand plant flower colors to include various shades of pink, salmon, carmine, white, violet and lavender. Popular mixtures include Dwarf Hyacinth Series, Dwarf Rocket Series and Giant Imperial Series. Leaves, flowers and seeds are toxic if ingested. This larkspur is synonymous with and formerly known as Consolida ambigua. It was once included in the genus Delphinium.

Genus name comes from the Latin word meaning consolidate or make firm in reference to a former herbal use of plant materials to stop bleeding and heal wounds.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew may occur.

Garden Uses

Beds, borders and cottage gardens. Excellent cut flower for fresh or dried arrangements.