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Delphinium, Dwarf Chinese Delphinium, Larkspur 'Butterfly Blue'

Delphinium grandiflorum

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Delphinium (del-FIN-ee-um) (Info)
Species: grandiflorum (gran-dih-FLOR-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Butterfly Blue
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

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)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oildale, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Statesboro, Georgia

Lewiston, Idaho

Chicago, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois

Fishers, Indiana

Hebron, Kentucky

Union, Kentucky

Bethel, Maine

Somerville, Massachusetts

Saginaw, Michigan

Lake Park, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Sparks, Nevada

Greenville, New Hampshire

Flanders, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

New Milford, New Jersey

Croton On Hudson, New York

Ithaca, New York

Belfield, North Dakota

Geneva, Ohio

Norman, Oklahoma



MacMinnville, Oregon

Monmouth, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Norfolk, Virginia

Kendall, Washington

Maple Falls, Washington

Verona, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 10, 2014, Foofsmom from Kendall, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have had this plant for a few years now and here in my sandy/clay/rocky soil .PROSPERED like crazy. I got rid of bunch of it when I started getting the garden back into shape. I still have way to much of it. It seems to love where it is *zone 8A* and reseeds itself WAY TO WELL. This is my first year of trying to get seeds as I usually just let everything do what it wants.


On Aug 11, 2010, Susini from Lake Park, MN wrote:

Grows beautifully in my climate, rich soil, full sun. Profuse blooms. Bloom time is fairly short, maybe two weeks at the most if all plantings are included. The blue color is amazing, translucent in sunlight.


On Aug 7, 2009, Marlina from Blaine, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I plant two of these every year in the front of my garden . Intense color but have never had them come back.like they say. So I treat them as a annual.


On Jun 8, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I'm used to thinking of delphiniums as needing coddling in my climate - moist and rich soil, shade from the hot afternoon sun, etc. - and still often dying. This one is different. In my climate, it likes heat, it likes full sun, and so far, it's been more drought tolerant than some plants that are supposed to be! If you live in a temperate climate with rainfall averaging about the same all year round like I do, consider treating this delphinium the same way. This is the first delphinium I've been able to grow in my climate with absolutely no special effort on my part at all. I love delphiniums and I'm so pleased I finally found a low-care one.


On Oct 3, 2007, grannyhat from St. John's NL,
Canada wrote:

I grew this plant in St. John's, Newfoundland - poor soil, mostly acid, windy and salty. The seed packet called it 'Blue Pygmy' (sorry, I can't remember the seedsman's name). It acted like a biennial, producing a neat rosette of leaves the first year, and flowered madly the following August, in the brightest blue imaginable. In mid-September all three plants died, producing copious amounts of seed. I will grow it again, but be careful where I place it, as the colour was rather a killer to other blues - white neighbours would look better.


On Jun 9, 2006, greenie67 from Longview, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I live in East Texas and am also having some problems keeping them alive. They flourished at first but now they are yellowing and not flowering at all. They get full sun and plenty of water but not too much. I haven't checked the ph of the soil though. That may be the problem.


On Jun 20, 2005, rweiler from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I planted 2 a couple months ago here in Albuquerque. Fertile soil, plenty of water, full sun. I sheared them back to 3 inches last week because both were dying. One is bouncing back, one is near death. I won't give up though, they are beautiful at the front of the border.


On May 6, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

My plant is happy in dryish shade, in clay loam covered with river rock.


On Jan 18, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

From the belladonna group. Blue Butterfly is stocky, although the flowers make it seem light and airy. Flowers are a bright medium blue. Can be air-dried for light touches in flower arrangements.

Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun, but with shelter from strong winds. If plants do not grow well, or look leggy and stressed, try "sweetening" the soil with a little lime.

Caution: all parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested, and contact with foliage may irritate skin.


On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

This short-lived perennial can be grown as an annual if started early indoors. It blooms in an incredible shade of deep, true blue. The small plants will fit into any garden.