A Wild American Larkspur for Shade
I was surprised to learn that ther are over 30 species of wild North American Larkspurs. However, the only one I know of that is considered a good garden plant for the Midwest is Delphinium exaltatum, Tall Blue Larkspur.
Here is one of the Tall Blue Larkspurs I planted last fall in our back garden. I’m cheating a bit, as this picture was taken on July 26. There will be more flowering stalks as this plant matures.
As you can see, the flowers are a modest size, so this Larkspur is best planted in groups. Tall Blue Larkspur blooms later than most Larkspurs, late July into August. It likes part shade and limestone soils. Reportedly it can grow up to 6′, but mine has only reached half that height this year.
Though it can grow well in Illinois and the Upper Midwest, it is native in Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Ozarks region of Missouri, and points further east and south. Not too far south, though – it does not like very hot, humid summers.
Of course I love blue flowers, so I’m thinking of a few more spots in our garden where this handsome fellow may find a home.
Do you grow any wild Larkspurs?