The Larkspur is July's Birth Flower
Everyone knows that they have a specific birthstone that is placed in jewelry and trinkets to signify the month they were born in. However, many people don't know that just like the stones, each month has a flower or two as well, which symbolizes birth. Here is the history and meaning behind your birth flower, the larkspur.
Alternate: Water Lily
The Consolida and Delphinium, better known as the Larkspur includes about 40 annual flowering plants that are native to Western Europe through the Mediterranean region east to central Asia. The flowers are open and contain a single follicle of fruit, instead of a cluster.
The flower varies in size from 10cm to up to 2m in the meadowland species. Colors of the flower vary and can include purple, blue, red, yellow and white. The petals grow together forming a spur at the end and giving the flower its name, Larkspur. You will find the plant blooming starting in late spring and continuing through late summer, being pollinated by butterflies and bumble bees.
The Larkspur was called lark's heel by Shakespeare, and has also been referred too as lark's claw and knight's spur. The scientific name of Delphinium refers to the shape of the bud which is thought to look like a fat dolphin.
There are two species of Larkspur that are native to California and are considered to be endangered. These are the Baker's larkspur and the Yellow larkspur.
Larkspurs are generally considered garden plants. They are poisonous however and can cause death if eaten in large amounts. It is a significant cause of death in cattle ranges in higher elevations where it is more likely to be found. In small amount however the Larkspur has been used in medicine. It is believed that drinking the seed could help the sting from a scorpion, and that putting it in your hair can help kill lice and nits.
Fun and interesting fact: Mixing the juice from the Larkspur seed with alum can create a blue ink. Because of the blue color it used to be used in Transylvania on the stables to ward away witches.