The Delphinium is an annual flowering plant decorating gardens in early to mid-summer months. People don’t generally see the Delphinium flower as a show-stopping flower, but it carries deep symbolic meaning.
“Delphinium” derives from the Greek word delphinion, which means “dolphin.” It received this name due to the dolphin-shaped flowers it bears. Delphinium flowers are known as bird’s claw, larkspur, and knight’s spur and come to symbolize feelings of joy and valiance.
Delphiniums make an excellent gift for those who find themselves needing positivity and joy. Before you add Delphiniums to your bouquet, have a read through what they symbolize. You’ll be surprised to find that these flowers carry significant symbolic, cultural, and historical meanings in their petals.
The Delphinium Flower’s Meaning And Symbolism
Delphinium is a flowering genus that consists of around 300 species in the Ranunculaceae family.
The flowers are known for their use in Medieval and traditional medicine and go by the names of Larkspur, Bird’s Claw, and Knight’s Spur.
You can generally find these flowers in flowerbeds and natural meadows. The varieties of Delphinium you’ll most regularly come across include the Delphinium Consolida and the Delphinium Ajacis.
The extensive range of Delphinium flower species makes it easy to see why they have such an abundance of positive attributes associated with their name.
Other than the meaning behind their varying colors, this flower also played a significant role in producing ink and shares the part of July’s birth flower alongside Water Lilies.
Delphinium’s General Meaning
Most commonly, you’ll find Delphinium flowers to portray lightness and positivity.
When all their flowers have bloomed, you can see the heart of the budding plant. This symbol of growth is its primary attribute.
Delphinium’s sheer abundance of flowers can symbolize openness to new experiences with radiating positivity.
Receiving this flower will uplift and brighten any receiver’s day while encouraging them to shift their focus to the bigger picture and to attempt to overcome new challenges that cross their paths.
You can gift the pink variety of Delphinium to grandmothers and newborn girls to symbolize youth and celebrate life. So, what do the other colors mean?
What Do Different Delphinium Colors Mean?
Like other flower varieties, Delphinium flowers have different meanings connected to different flower colors.
You’ll find that these blooms are uplifting flowers that communicate encouragement and joy to any receiver.
While this flower species is toxic to humans and animals, its symbolism carries no negative connotations.
Delphinium flowers usually come in shades of blue and purple, but Recent cultivation of Delphiniums has produced more colors varying in pink, yellow, and white hues.
Some messages you can convey through gifting specific colors of Delphinium flowers include:
- Blue — Blue Delphiniums symbolize dignity and bravery. These flowers are best when gifted to someone who needs a confidence boost and a reminder that they are worthy.
- White — Symbolizing happiness and innocence, white Delphiniums are best suited to someone who recently made a fresh start or drastic change in their lives.
- Pink — The delicate pink shade of Delphinium symbolizes sudden change and can also be associated with joyous love. It’s perfect for those who recently experienced change and those you keep near to your heart.
- Yellow — Yellow Delphiniums represent friendship. Gift these to close friends to show them that you care for them or as a way to wish them well.
- Purple — Purple Delphiniums symbolize first love and ambition. You want to give this color Delphinium to someone busy climbing a ladder to success or as a gift to someone you praise and cherish.
With their long stems and hundreds of tiny flowers, Delphiniums are the perfect addition to any bouquet — they add an element of luxury and grandeur.
Delphiniums are also perfect for year-round celebrations, including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and anyone needing a new perspective and growth.
Delphinium Flower’s Meaning As A Birth flower
July’s birth flower includes the Delphinium and the Water Lily.
While the Water Lily signifies peace and balance, the Delphinium symbolizes happiness, warmth, and enjoyment.
Those whose birthday falls in July are likely very charming, bubbly, and bright individuals. They have a great sense of humor, and people naturally want to be around them.
Much like the flower, people born in July will make anyone feel appreciated and cherished whenever they’re in their presence.
Delphinium Flower’s Cultural Significance
You can find Delphinium flowers in meadows across Europe, the United States, and the tropical regions of Africa.
The flowers were traditionally collected to be used as plant dye, to express benevolence, and brighten others’ day.
Traditional Significance Of Delphinium Flowers
Indians traditionally used delphiniums to make blue paint, while colonists used these flowers to make ink.
Delphinium flowers were carried around as a protective measure against scorpion stings and were given to others to symbolize good fortune, trust, and prosperity.
Laypeople also used it in Medieval and traditional medicine practices.
The varieties most commonly used in these practices included the Delphinium Staphisagria and the Delphinium Consolida. People used the flower and other plant parts to ward off internal parasites (like intestinal worms) and aid in fluid retention, poor appetite, and insomnia.
The seeds of these species were mainly used due to their alkaloidal properties but never merited a position amongst common herbal treatments due to the plant’s toxicity.
The toxins found in Delphinium species cause serious neuromuscular effects in animals and even humans.
Fortunately, this beautiful flower found another use in popular culture.
Modern Use And Symbolism Of Delphinium Flowers
Thanks to Edward Steichen, chief photographer for Condé Nast productions, Delphiniums experienced newfound fame in the early 1910s.
Steichen adored Delphinium flowers in his years as a horticulturist and cultivated some of his own varieties.
In 1913 Steichen was appointed President of the Delphinium Society of America, and in his retirement, he continued to cultivate and cross-breed Delphiniums.
In the June of 1936, MoMA presented its first and only dedicated flower show, Edward Steichen’s Delphiniums.
This exhibition was a one-man, one-week show where Steichen could display his selection of cross-bred Delphiniums.
Edward transported the flowers to the Museum gallery in his truck and set up the flowering displays with the darkest flowers at the bottom of the exhibition and the lighter ones towards the top.
Arranging the Delphiniums in this way created an underlying tension and carried heavy symbolism, as the show occurred when World War II was already raging in Europe.
The flowers in his exhibition became what many needed during a time of gloom and decay. His flowers symbolized a new hope, and the injection of colorful Delphinium flowers sparked feelings of joy, community, and restoration.
Delphiniums represent all that is positive and good. These flowers make for a great gift if you want to encourage someone to do their best! If you know of someone going through a tough time, facing a challenging task, or experiencing significant changes in their life, this flower will encourage them to do their best.
You can also give Delphiniums to loved ones, friends, grandparents, colleagues, and anyone whose birthday is in July. A bouquet of delphiniums is full of positive energy, so giving this bloom is a gift that is sure to brighten someone’s day.