If you were born in July, you’ll know delphinium is the birth flower for July babies. It’s known by many names, such as Elijah’s chariot, knight’s spur, larkspur, lark’s heel, lark’s claw, bird’s claw, and more, but these lovely flowers most resemble dolphins leaping and have a strong significance to more than just those born in that sweltering summer month.
Delphinium pairs great in bouquets with other types of flowers because of the multitude of concepts the flower stands for. The delphinium can be the perfect flower for career moves, as one of its meanings is that it promotes you striving to attain all of your goals as well as expand your options and attract new opportunities. The delphinium is a very positive flower; one of its meanings is the celebration of anything positive, making it a great gift for when someone is celebrating. And when someone is feeling down, the delphinium encourages you to enjoy the lighter side of life. Finally, delphinium can be used in a romantic bouquet as well to open yourself up to new feelings and emotions in a relationship.
Delphinium is one of very few flowers that are often naturally blue. The deep blue signifies dignity as well as grace. Light blue and white mean to represent new life and power of youth. Pink signifies the same as light blue and white, but is geared more towards females, such as for the birth of a daughter.
Legend tells that the Greeks named the flower after the Delphi temple, which honored the sun god, Apollo. Apollo apparently really loved this flower, causing people to believe the delphinium can bring one good luck.
The legend of how delphinium originated begins at the Battle of Troy. It’s said that Achilles’ mother, the sea nymph Thetis, ordered his armor to be given to the bravest warrior. While Ajax expected that he would be chosen, the armor was instead given to Odysseus. Ajax committed suicide and where his blood spilled, the beautiful small and blue delphinium grew.
In one ancient legend, the delphinium was thought to be able to protect against scorpions. The flowers would be carried on person to prevent scorpion stings.
The flower was often picked and used as a dye by Native Americans and European used them to make ink.
During medieval times, the delphinium was used to kill internal parasites, recovery of lost appetite, and relaxation so you could fall asleep. Caution would have been advised in using the delphinium for the purposes of relaxation if medieval people had all the scientific information we have today. The plant’s toxins can cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure, to quite dangerous levels. It can also cause difficulty breathing and slow heart rate.
Historically, the ground down seeds from the delphinium used to be used for treating toothaches. In the American Civil War specifically, warriors used delphinium to get rid of hair lice. At the Battle of Waterloo, wounds were dressed with gauze and delphinium.