Herbs & Plants

Delphinium menziesii

Botanical Name: Delphinium menziesii
Family: Ranunculaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Tribe: Delphinieae
Genus: Delphinium

Common Names: Menzies’ Larkspur

Habitat: Delphinium menziesii is native to Western N. America – British Columbia to California. It grows in rich well drained soils and full sun, on coastal bluffs and prairies to lower montane meadows. Meadows and open woodlands from sea level to 1000 metres.

Delphinium menziesii is a perennial herb with spurred, bluish-purple flowers growing from tuberous roots, up to 50 cm tall. Stems unbranched, with fine hairs. Leaves alternate, dissected 2-3 times, narrowly oblong, basal leaves long-petiolate. Inflorescences open-racemose, simple to compound, 3-20 flowered. Flowers zygomorphic; sepals 5, uppermost being prominently spurred. It is in flower from April to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Prefers a rich well-drained soil. Dislikes water-logged soils. Requires an open sunny position. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Through Seed – sow March/April in a cold frame or May outdoors. Keep moist and in a shady position until germination takes place. The seed has a limited viability so it should be stored in a sealed container at about 3°c. Temperatures above 15°c inhibit germination. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 9 weeks at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Cuttings of basal shoots in April/May, taken before they become hollow at the base, and planted in a cold frame. Division in spring or early autumn.

Edible Uses: Not Known to us.

Medicinal Uses: A poultice of the stalks and roots has been applied to sores. People use the flower to make medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, delphinium is used to treat intestinal worms, fluid retention, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping (insomnia). It is also used as a sedative to cause relaxation.

Other Uses: A parasiticide is obtained from the leaves. It is quite toxic and so is for external use only. A blue dye can be obtained from the flowers.
Various delphiniums are cultivated as ornamental plants, for traditional and native plant gardens. The numerous hybrids and cultivars are primarily used as garden plants, providing height at the back of the summer border, in association with roses, lilies, and geraniums.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are toxic. The plant is most toxic when it is young.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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