Delphinium Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More

Last Updated on January 9, 2024

Being someone who’s always had a deep appreciation for the profound symbolism hidden within the petals of various flowers, I found myself irresistibly drawn to the enchanting delphinium.

In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the intricate world of delphinium flowers, unveiling their meanings and spiritual symbolism. These elegant, towering blooms have a rich history and have long fascinated botanists and enthusiasts alike.

Delphinium

Key Takeaways

  • General Symbolism: Delphiniums symbolize positivity, encouragement, and goodwill. They convey a sense of cheerfulness and are often associated with optimistic attitudes.
  • Connection to Summer and Youth: Blooming in late spring and early summer, Delphiniums are joyful flowers representing the pleasures of summer. They symbolize youth, renewal, and carefree memories.
  • Associations with Dolphins: The name “Delphinium” is derived from the Greek word “delphis,” meaning dolphin. The flower’s arching shape resembles a leaping dolphin, symbolizing happiness, playfulness, and sociability.
  • Dignity and Honor: The tall, upright posture and noble blue coloring of Delphiniums convey dignity and honor. Legends connecting the flower to a slain warrior further emphasize themes of duty, sacrifice, and honor.
  • Delphinium Flower Colors and Their Meanings:

    Blue Delphiniums symbolize youth, renewal, and joy, capturing the beauty of nature.

    White Delphiniums signify nobility, grace, and are used to express sympathy.

    Pink Delphiniums are associated with young love and affection.

  • Cultural Significance and Inspirations: In Greek mythology, Delphiniums are linked to a story involving Achilles’s armor, Ajax, and the creation of blue Delphiniums engraved with the word “Ai” signifying grief.
  • New Beginning: Delphiniums symbolize growth, new beginnings, an open heart, and eternal youth. Some species have traditional medicinal uses.
  • Delphinium Flower Tattoos: Delphinium tattoos often symbolize a happy-go-lucky spirit, human generosity, playfulness, celebration of youth, and, in some cases, remembrance of loved ones.

What is the Spiritual Meaning of a Sunflower?

There are over 300 different species of Delphinium, all from the Ranunculaceae family, which is that of the common buttercup.

Delphinium are perennial flowers (although there are some annual varieties, such as the Larkspur), and they are native to the northern hemisphere. As such, they thrive in cool, moist climates and need much water to survive. 

Some small, mountain varieties grow just a few inches tall, whereas other meadow and show varieties can grow as tall as 2 meters in height. They are most commonly blue in color, however people have cultivated it in a host of rainbow colors from yellow, to purple, to pink and white.

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What Does The Delphinium Flower Mean?

  • Delphiniums are joyful flowers associated with the summer season, symbolizing joy, pleasure, youth, and renewal.
  • They evoke carefree memories of youthful abandon and the summers of childhood.
  • These flowers represent cheerfulness and friendship, making them a perfect choice to uplift someone feeling down.
  • Delphiniums’ connection to joy and abandon is exemplified through their associations with dolphins, symbolizing happiness, playfulness, and sociability.
  • Just as dolphins sing, leap, and dance in the waves, Delphiniums appear to dance in the wind as they sway.
  • Delphiniums exude positivity and possibility and symbolize optimism for the future.
  • Their tall, skyward-reaching stance serves as an inspiration for those seeking self-improvement and new opportunities.
  • These flowers are an excellent gift for someone with a job interview or approaching a life event, encapsulating good vibes and a can-do attitude.
  • They also carry connotations of dignity and honor due to their upright posture and noble blue coloring.
  • The legend of their origin from the scattered blood of a slain warrior adds associations with duty, honor, and sacrifice.
  • Delphiniums are a popular choice for celebratory or congratulatory gifts to honor military servicemen and women who have completed tours or received honors.

Etymological Meaning Of The Delphinium flower

So where does the Delphinium get its name from? Well, as with so many plant and flower names, the word ‘Delphinium’ comes from ancient Greece, in particular, the word ‘Delphinion’, meaning ‘Dolphin’.

Delphinium are not sea flowers, you may be thinking that the name alludes to their blue coloring. However, this is not the case. In fact, the name Delphinium refer to the flower’s arching shape which tapers to a point. It resembles the shape of a dolphin leaping in the waves. 

However, when they introduced the plant to Britain in the 1500s, from its home in the Mediterranean, the Tudors saw a different animal likeness. They gave the Delphinium the name ‘Larkspur’ due to the pointed shape of the flower’s nectary, which they thought looked like the spur on a lark’s foot.

If you look closely, you can see what they meant! In Shakespeare’s day, they referred to the flower to as ‘Lark’s Claw’. ‘Lark’s Heels’, and even ‘Knight’s Spur’.

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Revealing the Profound Symbolism of Delphinium Flowers

These beautiful flowers have multiple symbolic means and associations.

SymbolismDescription
Artistic InspirationAssociated with English gardens and artistic inspiration.
Cheerfulness & GoodwillSymbolic of human kindness, generosity, and bright colors.
Youth & PlayfulnessLinked to summer, playfulness, and renewal.
Open HeartednessRepresents the ability to embrace the present and future positively.
ProtectionHistorically used for medicinal purposes and repelling parasites.
DignityTall posture, true blue coloring, and associations with honor.

Artistic Inspiration

They link to the traditional English country garden and have a very Romantic and poetic appeal. Their vivid colors and the way that they blow in the wind makes them a favorite with writers and artists. They are symbolic of artistic inspiration.

Cheerfulness And Goodwill

The generosity of the bountiful flowers clustered around each stem of the Delphinium, makes them symbolic of human kindness and generosity towards each other. Their bright, vibrant colors and tall, upright posture exemplifies this association further.

Youth And Playfulness

The fact that Delphiniums grow in summer, dance in the wind, and resemble playful dolphins, all contribute to their symbolic associations with fun, laughter, care-free attitudes and renewal.

Open Heartedness

in Victorian flower language, Delphiniums represented one’s ability to transcend space and time. Nowadays, we interpret this as meaning the ability to embrace whatever comes your way, feel positive about the present and project those feelings into the future as well.

Protection

People used to use Delphiniums in medicines and sleeping potions, and they also repel parasites such as lice and fleas. For this reason people kept them beside their bed at night. They have come to represent protection and healing.

Dignity

the tall posture of these flowers, matched with their true blue coloring, means that they often associated with dignity, grace, and honor. 

Deciphering the Symbolism of Delphinium Flower Colors

Flower ColorSymbolic Meaning
BlueYouth, renewal, joy
WhiteNobility, sympathy, reflection
PinkYoung love, affection
Other ColorsUnique meanings associated with each color

Delphinium flowers have been hybridized over the years, resulting in a wide range of colors. Different colors of Delphiniums carry distinct symbolic meanings:

Blue Delphiniums symbolize youth, renewal, and joy.

  • They are deeply associated with the summer season.
  • They capture the emotions and associations of sunshine and birdsong.
  • Represent the beauty of nature and care-free, halcyon days.

White Delphiniums are considered noble and dignified.

  • Their purity conveys grace and elegance.
  • Often used to express sympathy for those who have lost loved ones.
  • Suitable as an “apology flower,” symbolizing sensitivity and reflection.

Pink Delphiniums are associated with young love.

  • These flowers represent love in its earliest stages.
  • Often given during the honeymoon phase of a relationship.
  • Convey giddiness and affectionate connotations.

Delphinium

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Meaningful Botanical Characteristics Of The Delphinium Flower

There are over 400 different varieties of Delphinium flowers, but very few of them are actually wild. This is because Delphiniums are incredibly popular amongst botanists and cultivators. They also hybridized and cultivated most of the current varieties.

Most types of Delphiniums are perennial, meaning that they regrow each year in the summer. However, Larkspur are a variety of Delphinium that are annual and only last for the single season.

Larkspur have a prolonged flowering period. However, and so most gardeners and enthusiasts like to plant a combination of both to get the most out of these flowers.

Delphiniums can grow pretty tall, so they often need a cane to support them as they grow. They tend to have just one spike of flowers in their first year. Three spikes in their second year, and as many as 50 spikes when they are 8 years old. However, most Delphiniums have a lifespan of closer to 5 years.

Special Occasions For The Delphinium Flower

Delphinium is the official flower of the month of July. They are very much a summer flower and are often used at summer parties and celebrations.

They are a great flower to choose for anyone who has a July birthday. Also, they are wonderful babyshower flowers, thanks to their associations with joy and happiness.

Delphinium Flower Cultural Significance

  • Delphinium flowers have inspired artists and writers throughout history from various cultures.
  • In Greek mythology, they are associated with a story involving Achilles’s armor and the brave warrior Ajax, resulting in the creation of blue Delphinium flowers engraved with the word “Ai,” signifying grief and passing.
  • Edward Steichen, an American artist and photographer, was known for his fascination with Delphinium flowers. He grew hybrid species and exhibited them at the MoMa gallery in 1936, becoming the president of the American Delphinium Society.
  • The American artist Georgia O’Keeffe included Delphinium flowers in her famous floral paintings.

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Delphinium

Interesting Delphinium Flower Facts: Nature’s Enchanting Beauties 

FactDescription
Positive SymbolismDelphiniums symbolize positivity and encouragement.
Growth and New BeginningsAssociated with growth and new beginnings.
Open Heart and LightnessBelieved to represent an open heart and lightness.
Eternal YouthSignifies eternal youth and the youthful spirit.
Healing and Medicinal UsesSome species have traditional medicinal uses.
Greek MythologyThe name “Delphinium” is rooted in Greek mythology.
Garden BeautyPrized for their aesthetic appeal in gardens.
  • Positive Symbolism: Delphiniums symbolize positivity and encouragement, making them a great choice for gifts and messages of support.
  • Growth and New Beginnings: They are associated with growth and new beginnings, making them suitable for occasions like graduation or starting a new chapter in life.
  • Open Heart and Lightness: Delphiniums are believed to represent an open heart and a sense of lightness, conveying heartfelt emotions.
  • Eternal Youth: In the language of flowers, Delphiniums can signify eternal youth and the youthful spirit.
  • Healing and Medicinal Uses: Some Delphinium species have traditional medicinal uses, particularly in herbal remedies.
  • Greek Mythology: The name “Delphinium” has its roots in Greek mythology, where it’s associated with the word “delphic,” meaning dolphin, due to the flower’s shape resembling a dolphin’s head.
  • Variety of Colors: Delphiniums come in various colors, and each hue carries its symbolic meaning. For instance, blue delphiniums represent a sense of dignity and grace.
  • Garden Beauty: Delphiniums are prized for their aesthetic appeal in gardens, adding a touch of elegance and color to outdoor spaces.

Flower Uses

Delphinium is toxic to both humans and animals, when consumed in large doses. In particular, it’s seeds can cause low blood pressure, the slowing of heart rate, and even lung failure, all due to the extremely high levels of alkaloids in the seeds.

However, this does not mean that the flower does not have its uses. In small doses, Delphinium has been used in medicines to tackle poor appetite, insomnia, intestinal worms, water retention and other ailments. These days, it is avoided due to toxicity.

Delphinium has other uses besides medicinal ones, however. The juice of the flower (especially the D. Consolida variety), when mixed with alum, is used to create blue ink and this has proved extremely useful over the centuries.

Native Americans used the deep blue ink for dying fabrics, whereas Europeans used it for writing, drawing, and printing. 

These flowers are thought to repel lice and other parasites, and they can also soothe scorpion stings when rubbed against them. They are also great at attracting butterflies and other pollinators to gardens and flowerbeds.

They are chiefly an ornamental flower, used to brighten any garden or landscape, and a favorite among florists.

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What Is The Symbolism Of An Delphinium Flower Tattoo

SymbolismDescription
Happy-Go-Lucky SpiritTattoos communicate a joyful and carefree attitude towards life.
Human GenerositySymbolizes kindness and a generous spirit.
Playful AttitudeRepresents playfulness and an enthusiastic approach to life.
Celebration of YouthSignifies celebrating the vibrancy and exuberance of youth.
Remembrance of Loved OnesSome tattoos may commemorate cherished individuals.

As Delphinium flowers are so attractive they are a popular choice for tattoos, and their meaning can be different depending on the individual who has chosen them.

However, most Delphinium tattoos communicate a happy-go-lucky spirit, human generosity and kindness, a playful attitude and a celebration of youth and life.

Some Delphinium tattoos symbolize the loss of a loved and treasured soul.

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Final Thoughts

Delphinium flowers are strikingly beautiful, and it is hard to look upon them without getting a smile on your face. It is for this reason that they have come to symbolize positivity, goodwill, cheerfulness and optimism.

They are a wonderful choice of cut flower to give those who need a boost to their spirits, and they are a perfect choice for any country garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Symbolism Of Delphinium Flowers? 

Delphinium flowers symbolize positivity, encouragement, growth, an open heart, and a youthful spirit. They are often associated with new beginnings and a sense of lightness.

Why Are Delphiniums Associated With Positivity And Encouragement? 

Delphiniums’ vibrant colors and tall, majestic spikes make them a symbol of positivity and encouragement. The cheerful appearance of these flowers is believed to uplift spirits and convey a positive outlook.

Do Delphiniums Have A Specific Meaning In The Language Of Flowers?

Yes, Delphiniums can symbolize an open heart, lightness, and a sense of joy. They are often used to express heartfelt emotions and well-wishes.

What Occasions Are Suitable For Giving Delphiniums As A Gift?

Delphiniums are appropriate for various occasions, such as birthdays, graduations, and times when you want to offer support, encouragement, or congratulations. They are also used to symbolize new beginnings.

What Is The Significance Of The Name “Delphinium”?

The name “Delphinium” is derived from the Greek word “delphis,” meaning dolphin. This is due to the shape of the flower’s buds, which resemble a dolphin’s head. It’s a reference to the appearance of the flower.

What Do Different Colors Of Delphiniums Represent In Terms Of Symbolism?

The color of Delphiniums can influence their symbolism. For example, blue Delphiniums symbolize dignity and grace, while other colors may represent various emotions and sentiments.

Are Delphiniums Used In Specific Cultural Traditions Or Ceremonies?

Delphiniums hold cultural significance in various traditions and are used in floral arrangements for ceremonies and celebrations. They are chosen for their positive symbolism and aesthetic appeal.

Can Delphiniums Be Incorporated Into Flower Arrangements For Specific Meanings?

Yes, Delphiniums are often included in floral arrangements to convey hope, positivity, and encouragement. Their symbolism adds depth and meaning to bouquets and centerpieces.

What Is The Connection Between Delphiniums And Eternal Youth?

Delphiniums are sometimes associated with eternal youth in the language of flowers, signifying a youthful and vibrant spirit.

Are There Any Traditional Or Historical Uses Of Delphiniums In Herbal Medicine?

Some Delphinium species have been used in traditional herbal medicine for their potential medicinal properties, although their use should be approached with caution due to their toxicity.

Jose Viacrucis
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