Common name: Larkspur
Botanical name: Consolida hybrids
What it is: A reseeding annual flower with early-summer spikes of blue, purple or pink. Leaves are lacy or finely dissected. Makes one of the best cut flowers. Larkspur is a close relative of delphinium.
Size: Most varieties are 3 to 4 feet tall but only 6 to 8 inches wide.
Where to use: These are old-fashioned, cottage-garden favorites that look best when massed naturally in patches. It’s best to plant larkspur in the middle of mixed beds so you’re less likely to notice the holes when the plants brown out in the heat of summer.
Care: Seeds can be direct-seeded in the garden in fall or early spring. After that, larkspur will usually reseed forever, unless you cover dropped seeds with a heavy coating of mulch. Yank plants when they brown out in summer and after seed has dropped (if you want them to come back next year). Plant in well drained soil to prevent root disease. Thin out plants to about a foot apart to reduce chance of powdery-mildew leaf disease. Larkspur does best in full sun to light shade.
Why I like it: This is easy to grow and looks great having the seeds planted in a mass for the “wow” factor. The pastel blue, pink and purple go great with so many other plants and colors.