Delphinium is a plant with style – so it is worth knowing more about it. To facilitate the search for facts, this article has collected the most important information about this unique flower.
With 300 to 350 different species, delphiniums can be classified as countless representatives, all of which are real eye-catchers. Their technical name is Delphinium and they belong to the buttercup family, correctly called Ranunculaceae. In 2015, delphinium even made it to the rank of poisonous plant of the year!
Usually, this flower has the appearance of a tall, herbaceous plant that quickly overgrows its surroundings if not cared for. The leaves grow spread over the entire length of the stem, are usually three-parted and lobed to strongly dissected. One plant lives about one to two years.
Usually the flowers are not solitary, but in racemes with many others. The flowers themselves are cup-shaped and contain a lot of nectar inside, as well as a clearly visible stigma for fertilization. The ovules are also located there. The common colors are blue, white and purple.
The seeds of delphinium are narrowly shaped and have small wings. When they are ripe and the flower has reached a wilted state, they simply fall out and are dispersed by the wind.
The home of delphiniums can be found in numerous different countries around the globe. The main places of distribution are the temperate zones of North America and Eurasia, in the mountains of Central Africa and in China.
Nowadays, this plant is mainly used as an ornamental plant in gardens. Who has smaller children, however, should absolutely do without it. In the past, very effective poisons were also extracted from it, which are now used in the production of homeopathic remedies. Larkspur is also used as a medicinal plant.
Since all plant parts of delphinium are very poisonous due to ingredients such as delphisin and elatin, one should be very careful when handling it. The poisons can cause symptoms such as stomach irritation, diarrhea, movement disorders and nervousness. They also attack the heart muscles and cause skin irritation. To counteract this, it is recommended to wash after contact and take activated charcoal tablets if symptoms of poisoning occur.
Larkspur can also be seen on several sets of stamps issued by the German Federal Post Office.
The ancient Egyptians used this flower as a burial gift for their dead and the Greeks relied on its effect in combating lice and scabies.
Even in the Middle Ages, it was indispensable in symbolism. There he stood for the departure into the unknown and traveling. It also represented chivalrous virtues and loyalty between two people.
To this day, it is considered a promise to “serve the recipient in the most beautiful sense”.