Delphiniums are flowering plants that belong to the genus Delphinium and are a part of the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. There are over 350 species of delphinium; however, the garden varieties grown today have been heavily bred and cultivated and mostly belong to the groups Delphinium x elatum, Pacific Hybrid (or Pacific Giant), or the Belladonna group.
Delphiniums are particular favorites for cottage-style or informal gardens and even have the nickname “Queen of The Border” in England due to their popularity as border plants. Many varieties are attractive to pollinators, making them a great fit for pollinator gardens.
They are perennials that are hardy to USDA zones 3-7, however, Pacific Hybrid delphiniums are often grown as annuals or biennials. Flowers can be single or double, and come in a range of wonderful colors and color combinations! These include pink, red, yellow, white, purple, and blue!
Delphinium flowers require a little maintenance to keep them happy and looking at their best, but this hasn’t stopped them from being a top choice among many gardeners!
Beautiful Delphinium Varieties Every Gardener Needs To Know
#1 Atlantis (Belladonna Group)
Part of the Belladonna Group, this popular delphinium cultivar is compact, reaching 40 inches tall. It is often used for cut flowers due to its sturdy and upright growing habit and lends itself to courtyard and city gardens. Flowers are borne on racemes and are a bold, dark blue.
#2 Aurora Blue (D. x elatum)
This wonderful delphinium plant is a part of the Aurora series which was developed by breeders from Japan and the US. It grows between 3 and 4 feet tall and has delightful blue semi-double flowers. Blooms are a vivid blue with a pure white center. This is a sturdy variety that looks lovely planted along fences.
#3 Black Knight (Pacific Hybrid)
Also called “Tall Black Knight” or “Black Knight Group”, this Pacific Hybrid is a tall variety growing as large as 5-6 feet and will need to be staked. It produces spikes of semi-double dark purple-blue flowers with black central eyes. This lovely delphinium plant would look very impressive in a coastal garden, paired with ornamental grasses and other flowering plants in various blue shades.
#4 Black Velvet (D. x elatum)
Black Velvet is a fantastic delphinium variety for attracting bees, making it the perfect addition to any pollinator garden! It will grow as tall as 60 inches and has velvety, semi-double, dark purple-blue blooms that are densely packed on spikes.
#5 Blue Jay (Pacific Hybrid)
This Pacific Hybrid can reach up to 60 inches tall and may require staking. It has tall spikes which are densely packed with vivid blue flowers that have contrasting black “bees”. This delightful delphinium flower would look sensational planted en-masse in groups of 3 or more in a cottage or coastal garden!
#6 Can-can (D. x elatum)
Can-can is an eye-catching delphinium plant that has ruffled, fully double flowers. Blooms grow just under 3 inches wide, and are primarily violet, with royal blue edging on the outer-most petals. It can reach up to 60 inches and is a fantastic choice for bringing bright color into city or courtyard gardens!
#7 Centurion Lavender (D. x elatum)
Centurion Lavender is a part of the Centurion series and would suit a cottage-style or informal garden! This delphinium grows as large as 60 inches and has tall spikes adorned with masses of soft lavender blooms that have cream centers occasionally flecked with soft lavender. Plant them along fences or garden walls.
#8 Cinderella (D. x elatum)
One of the most beautiful delphinium cultivars, Cinderella looks lovely in beds, borders, or containers! It can reach heights of 4 feet and has sturdy, upright stems. Its double flowers are a delicate pale pink, with white central “bees”, and green eyes and tips. This variety is the ultimate cottage-style garden flower, and would look incredible paired with other delphiniums or cottage garden favorites such as foxgloves or hollyhocks in varying shades of pink and white!
#9 Clifford Sky (D. x elatum)
Clifford Sky is an extremely tall variety that can grow as tall as 8 feet! Plant it at the back of borders or beds to add architectural height and dimension. Flowers are just under 3 inches across and are semi-double with light blue petals and crisp, white central eyes. This delphinium will require support and should be planted in a sheltered area.
#10 Delphina “Dark Blue White Bee” (D. x elatum)
Dark Blue White Bee is a member of the Delphina series and is a dwarf delphinium flower that reaches 18 inches tall. Flowers have rich purple-blue outer petals, and white centers or “bees” that may have purple-blue blotches. This is an excellent choice for bringing color into patio or city gardens!
#11 Delphina “Rose White Bee” (D. x elatum)
This lovely delphinium flower is a sturdy dwarf variety that will not require staking. Grow it in borders in cottage-style gardens or containers in patio gardens! It grows as tall as 18 inches and has rose-pink flowers with white “bee” centers.
#12 Emily Hawkins (D. x elatum)
Another tall delphinium flower, Emily Hawkins can reach heights of up to 7 feet and will need to be staked and planted in a sheltered location. This wonderful variety produces tall racemes that are up to 30 inches, which are densely packed with light purple blooms that have light brown central eyes. It will attract bees into the garden making it a perfect candidate for pollinator gardens!
#13 Faust (D. x elatum)
Faust is a striking delphinium type that can grow as tall as 70 inches! It has rich, purple-blue flowers that are semi-double and have black central eyes. Plant it en-masse in groups of 3 or more for the largest impact. This variety is a great choice for adding color to cottage-style or informal gardens.
#14 Flamenco (D. x elatum)
This plant is a highly unusual delphinium flower that produces rosette-like fully double blooms! It has sturdy and upright stems that will not need support if planted in a sheltered area. This is a modern variety that has been bred to have higher levels of disease resistance than older types. It can grow to 36 inches tall and is the perfect delphinium for container planting as well as for beds and borders. Flowers are dusty pink, with lighter centers and darker outermost petals.
#15 Galileo (D. x elatum)
Galileo is a tall delphinium plant that can grow up to 70 inches high. It has tapering racemes adorned with masses of semi-double blooms that can grow as wide as 2.7 inches. Flowers are a wonderful bright blue, kissed with soft pink, and have black “bees”. Grow Galileo in cottage-style or coastal gardens!
#16 Giotto (D. x elatum)
Giotto is an extremely striking delphinium type that has beautiful semi-double flowers that will grow just under 3 inches wide. Outer petals are violet, with a thick blue central stripe, whereas centers are pale brown. It will reach heights of 60 inches and will require staking.
#17 Highlander Blueberry Pie (D. x elatum)
A part of the Highlander series, Highlander Blueberry Pie makes wonderful cut flowers and is well suited to cottage-style or informal gardens! Expect it to grow between 30 and 40 inches, with masses of frilled double flowers. Flowers are soft purple with blue-flushed outermost petals. This delphinium is sterile, so blooms will last longer than other varieties!
#18 Highlander Bolero (D. x elatum)
Highlander Bolero is a truly majestic delphinium flower! Blooms are ruffled and fully doubled with up to 58 petals per individual flower! It is sterile so flowers will last longer in the garden than other types. Flowers are purple with blue-flushed edges, white centers, and white eyes tipped with green. It may reach 60 inches tall and will steal the show in any garden!
#19 Highlander Sweet Sensation (D. x elatum)
Highlander Sweet Sensation is a compact variety reaching a maximum of 40 inches. Perfect for borders and container planting, this delightful delphinium flower will bring color into patio or cottage-style gardens. It has a sturdy, upright habit so staking is not always necessary. Double blooms are violet with blue-kissed edges.
#20 King Arthur (Pacific Hybrid)
King Arthur is a Pacific Hybrid that grows between 4 and 6 feet tall and will require staking. It produces tall spires densely packed with rich, deep purple, semi-double flowers that have white centers. This is a wonderful delphinium variety for cottage-style or informal gardens.
#21 Langdon’s Pandora (D. x elatum)
Langdon’s Pandora is a tall delphinium reaching heights between 4 and 6 feet. It will need to be staked and placed in a sheltered area in the garden, along a garden fence or wall would be perfect! Flowers grow between 1 and 2 inches and are borne on long, tapering spikes. Blooms are semi-double with showy sky blue petals and brown central eyes.
#22 Langdon’s Royal Flush (D. x elatum)
A wonderful delphinium for city and patio gardens, Langdon’s Royal Flush has bold, eye-catching flowers. It grows to heights of 59 inches, with densely packed racemes adorned with semi-double flowers. Flowers have raspberry pink petals veined with dark pink, and white “bees”. This plant looks lovely paired with other delphiniums, particularly those with white or pink-colored flowers.
#23 Lilian Bassett (D. x elatum)
Lilian Basset is a lovely delphinium cultivar that looks sensational when planted en-masse in groups of 4 or more! Plant them alongside pink varieties like Langdon’s Royal Flush or Sweethearts for a stunning display. It will grow up to 60 inches and has white, semi-double flowers with dark brown eyes.
#24 Magic Fountains Pure White (D. x elatum)
This compact delphinium is a member of the Magic Fountain series and grows as large as 35 inches. It has spikes of semi-double blooms that are a crisp white, and contrast nicely with the dark green foliage. Plant it along borders in cottage-style gardens, and use them as cut flowers indoors!
#25 Magic Fountains Lilac Rose (D. x elatum)
Another Magic Fountains dwarf variety, this delphinium reaches a maximum of 35 inches and will not require staking. It is a great choice for border planting, especially in cottage-style gardens due to its delicate color! It is a prolific bloomer with densely packed spikes bearing pinky-lilac flowers that have pure white centers.
#26 Margaret (D. x elatum)
Margaret is an upright delphinium cultivar that will reach heights of 4 feet. Flowers grow just over 2 inches wide and are semi-double. Blooms are a bold blue-purple with white eyes that sometimes contain a splash of blue. Use them to bring a pop of color into city or courtyard gardens!
#27 Moonbeam (D. x elatum)
This stunning cultivar has long spikes adorned with delicate pure white flowers that have matching pure white eyes! A top choice for cottage-style or coastal gardens, plant them in groups of 4 or more alongside blue delphiniums for a striking display! Moonbeam grows to a maximum height of 5.5 feet and will require staking and shelter from strong winds.
#28 Oliver (D. x elatum)
Oliver is a tall delphinium variety that reaches heights of 6 feet! It is heavily branched and produces semi-double flowers that will grow 2.5 inches wide. Blooms are pale blue with black eyes. This plant will require staking and would look fantastic planted along garden fences or walls.
#29 Pagan Purples (D. x elatum)
A New Millenium series member, Pagan Purples is a tall delphinium variety growing to a maximum height of 6 feet. It is incredibly eye-catching with spikes that are densely packed with single or double blooms. Flowers are a rich purple with dark blue-kissed outermost petals and dark brown or white central “bees”. Occasionally there may be one or two flowers that are white or pale purple.
#30 Sungleam (D. x elatum)
This delphinium variety is extremely tall, growing to 78 inches high! It has long racemes that can be as large as 2 feet and bear masses of beautiful creamy white flowers that have buttery yellow central eyes. This cultivar will require staking and placement in a sheltered area such as next to a wall or fence. Plant it en-masse in cottage-style gardens alongside pink and blue delphiniums for a wonderful display!
#31 Sunkissed (D. x elatum)
Sunkissed is a fantastic cultivar for cottage-style gardens and looks lovely growing along fences or garden walls! It is a tall delphinium growing as large as 59 inches and has delicate semi-double flowers. Blooms are creamy-white and have pale yellow centers.
#32 Sweethearts (D. x elatum)
Sweethearts is part of the New Millennium series and is a wonderful flower for adding height and dimension to garden beds. It can grow as tall as 6 feet with spikes that are densely packed with rose-pink blooms. Although it is sturdy, this is a tall delphinium variety that may need staking. Plant them in cottage-style gardens alongside other cottage favorites such as foxgloves or hollyhocks!
#33 Völkerfrieden (Belladonna Group)
Völkerfrieden is a Belladonna Group delphinium that can grow up to 67 inches tall. It has semi-double flowers that are a bright blue with purple central eyes. Plant it along borders and in beds in city or courtyard gardens for a colorful display!
~ image source: depositphotos/cristaldream