Delphinium Species, Tall Larkspur

Delphinium exaltatum

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Delphinium (del-FIN-ee-um) (Info)
Species: exaltatum (eks-all-TAY-tum) (Info)
Synonym:Delphinium tridactylum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

East Haddam, Connecticut

Valparaiso, Indiana

Gambrills, Maryland

Blackduck, Minnesota

Hudson, New Hampshire

Fairborn, Ohio

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 20, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Tall Blue Larkspur thrives in shade too! Give it rich well-drained soil in light to medium shade and it will reward you with many years of brilliant blue flowers. Delphinium exaltatum it is an important mid-summer nectar source for hummingbirds with a much later bloom time than other Delphinium species. Hardy to Zones 4 - 7.

Tall larkspur is native to Eastern North America from Pennsylvania and Ohio south through the Appalachians into northern Alabama, with several small, isolated populations existing in the Ozarks in far south central Missouri. The Missouri populations are known to occur on wooded limestone slopes above the Jack's Fork and Current Rivers in Shannon and Howell Counties.

Tall larkspur typically grows 4-6' tall and features loose terminal race... read more


On Jul 17, 2007, bemidjigreen from Blackduck, MN wrote:

As previously stated this is a very tall plant. Its in its second year in my garden is over 4 feet tall. It doesn't seem to be too fussy about soil--the bed its in has a lot of clay and this plant thrives.
The hardiness rating for this plant is not accurate--I live in zone 2b and its has overwintered two years here in the northeast corner of my house without any extra protection other than moderate snow cover. The flowers are small (1" each or less) but a lovely purple color. Even without blooms it is a very attractive plant--the foliage is much prettier than my pacific delphs. While not a show stopper its a very nice addition to a cottage garden.


On Jul 3, 2006, EdZ from Gambrills, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

2005 was my first experience with larkspur. I didn't plant it so I figure a bird deposited a few seeds in my garden.
This year it has reseeded itself and I have about a dozen beautiful plants.
The only problem with them is they grow quite tall,4-5 feet tall. They require staking or they will blow over. I'm collecting the seeds again this year and hope to have a garden full of these plants.
I would recommend these flowers to everyone.