Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name

Genus: Consolia

Specie: C ajacis

Variety/Cultivar:

English Name:

larkspur

Common Name

doubtful Knight spur, Larkspur, rocket larkspur

Botanical Family

Name in Latin: Ranunculaceae

Name in English: Buttercup or crowfoot family

The Plant

Origin: Eurasia

Growth Habit: Annual: herbaceous

Flower: spike like racemes in blues , lavenders, pinks and white.

Blooming Period: June- September

Leaf: palmately lobed or palmately divided

Usage:

Great as line flower, adding mass, colour

Care and Handling

Lasting Quality: 7-10 days

Amount of water: warm

Nutrition: preservative/food

Special handling: ethylene sensitive, sensitive to mildew

Special feature/remarks:

From latin consolida meaning " to make whole" referring to its medicinal properties. Plant is toxic ( major cause of cattle loss in some portions of great plains Rocky Mountains.

The generic name Consolida, deriving from D. consolida, refers to the annual 'delphiniums'. Consolida is a close congener of Delphinium and there are now recognized some 40 species, including Consolida ajacis and C. orientalis. C. ambigua is considered by some to be a synonym for C. ajacis, and it appears in Unwins catalogue as 'Unwins choice mixed'. There are differences between Delphinium and Consolida other than the annual nature of Consolida. There are, of course, annual Delphiniums. One is the fact that the ovary of Delphinium is divided into 3 or 4 follicles whereas that of Consolida is not so divided. Perhaps it would be a useful development to reserve the term 'larkspur' for Consolida. Reading through present day seedsmen's catalogues will still produce puzzles for those wishing to define 'larkspur' but all such puzzles derive from the confusion of a plethora of loosely used terms and definitions of the past. Perhaps the DNA profilers will move in to produce scientifically reliable definitions for the future, if they have not already done so commercially in breeding programmes.