Delphinium

Pure White
Magic Fountain
Dwarf Larkspur


"But these were found in the East & South
Where Winter is the clime forgot.--
The dewdrop on the larkspur's mouth
O should it then be quenched not?"

-Gerard Manley Hopkins
(1844-1889)

   

Dramatic pure white spires are the hallmark of the White or Pure White Mountain Fountain Larkspurs. A big sturdy perennial, it is called a "dwarf" because the Magic Fountain series is less than half the size of 'Pacific Giant' which MF varieties otherwise resemble.

White Magic Fountain has dense, heavy flowery spikes two to three feet tall, clumping to a foot & a half or so wide. 'Pure White' is the dwarf equivalent of 'Galahad' Pacific Giant, & the MF series are sometimes called "dwarf Pacific type' famed for the fat density of the double-flower spikes.

Being dwarf or semi-dwarf does not mean it is a small plant; it is very substantial. And though vastly more preferred for small gardens than the Pacific Giant, the dwarf version is also to be recommended for large gardens because it does not "lodge" or fall over as do the five to seven foot spires of the full-sized Pacific.

'Pure White' has a creamy white or honey-colored eye (or "bee"), in contrast to the Magic Fountain 'White with Dark Bee.' It wants bright sun in moist, well-draining, organically rich soil. They don't like acidic soils & organically rich soils tend to be acidic, so a little lime, or fireplace ash, mixed into their soil can be helpful.

Due to their stately beauty, delphiniums are among the most loved of all garden flowers, whether annual, biennial, or perennial. Delphinium elatum cultivars are also called "perennial delphiniums" because they do return several years running, but usually about year five, having reached their apex of extraordinary beauty, they will quite suddenly begin to decline.

Division occasionally saves them, in late winter or early spring, but frequently an aging delphinium does not regain its former flowerfulness, so a gardener has to be prepared to periodically replace favorite clumps & start over, from seeds, basal cuttings, or young nursery-started plants.

   



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