Delphinium elatum
Claire Curran

All you need to know about growing Delphinium in your garden

Steven R. Lorton and Lauren Bonar Swezey

Elegant spires of blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, red, or white, up to 8 feet tall, develop above lobed or fanlike leaves. All are perennial (though most are short lived). Provide full sun and regular water.

Varieties of candle delphinium (D. elatum; zones A1-A3, 1-10, 14-24) are the most dramatic of the genus. For the tallest blooms, try mixed colors of the Pacific strain or named varieties ('Blue Bird', 'Galahad', 'Summer Skies').

Large-flowered Centurion grows 4 to 5 feet tall and will bloom the first year from seed when planted in spring. It's also more reliably perennial. Blue Springs and Magic Fountains mixes are shorter (to 2 1/2 feet tall).

Varieties of D. x belladonna (zones 1-9, 14-24) are shorter (3 to 4 feet tall) and have airier flowers. The plants are also longer lived than the tall varieties of D. elatum.

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