Delphinium is a genus of the buttercup family Ranunculaceae and is native to the Northern Hemisphere. All delphinium contains 'alkaloid delphinine' which is extremely toxic and will cause vomiting if ingested. Small amounts of delphinium have also been used in herbalism over the years.
Delphinium is an extremely popular cottage garden plant because of the elegant, tall spikes of vivid colour & is extensivlely used in cut form in wedding flowers.
On the wholesale flower markets fresh cut delphinium is available in three main varieties:
- Delphinium Belladonna – wholesaled in wraps of 10 stems and available from January through to September. Stem lengths vary from 60 – 90cm depending on the grade and variety required.
- Delphinium Elatum – wholesaled in wraps of 10 / 15 stems and available from May through to September. Stem lengths vary from 90 – 120cm depending on the grade and variety required. Delphinium Elatum is one of the most expensive cut flowers on the wholesale flower markets and can reach up to £3.00 per stem!
- Delphinium Ajacis – (Often referred to as Larkspur or Rocket Larkspur), is wholesaled in wraps of 10 stems and is available from June until the end of August. Stems lengths are usually around 70cm tall.
General Availability Chart
Delphiums are a hollow stemmed flower, (just like sunflowers, amaryliss, and lupins), and have to be conditioned in a specific way for best results:
- Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife.
- Remove the lower foliage.
- Fill sterilised buckets with luke warm water & add flower food.
- Turn the delphinium upside down & fill the hollow stems with luke warm water.
- Hold your thumb over the end of the stem to stop the water from escaping.
- Turn the delphinium over & plungle into the bucket of water.
- Leave to condition over night before arranging.
Never leave cut flowers in direct sun light, near a radiator, in a draft or near fruit. (The gas used to ripen fruit will harm most flowers). Keep the delphinium in a cool place and always keep out of the way of children.