Delphinium types

Confusion Reigns

There is a fantastic amount of confusion about the various species of delphinium and the origins of today's hybrids. Please see this article (first page of thesis) by way of explanation. This confusion is such that delphinium hybrids resembling the Pacific Giant types often referred to as D. culturum (in culture) as the real origins are extremely complex and probably unknown. To help clear this confusion the following delphinium groups are generally available in commerce:

Delphinium cultorum group (previously known as elatum group): These plants have complex flowers and range in height from about 2 metres to about 1 metre. and include:
  • Various Pacific Giants Series (This includes Round Table, Dwarf Pacific and all the varieties in those series, eg Black Knight, Galahad)
  • New Millennium Series
  • Magic Fountain Series
  • And a host of others
See this link to a google search for images of delphinium Magic Fountains

Delphinium grandiflorum group: These are generally short, well branched plants suitable for drier areas such as the rock garden. Sometimes called D chinensis and include:
  • Blauer Zwerg
  • Blue Butterfly
  • Blue Pygmy
See this link to a google search for images of delphinium blue butterfly

Delphinium belladonna group: These are crosses resulting from D. elatum crossed with D. grandiflorum. They are generally about 1m to 1.5m tall, are well branched and have simple flowers. They include:
  • Connecticut Yankees
  • Cliveden Beauty
  • Various others

See this link for a google search for images of delphinium belladonna

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Dowdeswell's Delphiniums - Wanganui, New Zealand