This post is part of a 12-month series exploring birth flowers. Start here for an introduction and for a full list of all months.
Summer is in full swing! The birds, the bees, the barbecues… and all those July babies! Statistically speaking, there are more babies born in July and August than in any other month. And for the past few years, July has been giving August a run for its money!
If you celebrate a birthday in July, your gemstone is ruby, your zodiac sign is either Cancer or Leo, and your flower just happens to be a favorite of one of our Founding Fathers – fitting since we celebrate the founding of our country each July!
It’s the slender, stately Larkspur, a regal and often blue-purple bloom that works as well in your summer garden as it does in a bouquet in your home.
July Birth Month Flower: Larkspur
You may know Larkspur by its parent species, Delphinium. There are over 500 species of Delphinium, and the native Larkspur is just one. Either way, it is said to represent positivity and openness.
The larkspur symbolizes dedication, strong, loving bonds, and sincerity. You’re easy to be around, warm, kind, and your lighthearted, youthful nature makes you unique among peers.
Like the larkspur itself, you tower over your domain, a true visionary and a protector of all who surround you. Family is an important pillar in your life and your steadfast love serves as a beacon and guide. You’re organized, charming, and a real go-getter – sometimes even a perfectionist!
Like many flowers, different colors can have different meanings, too. Blue represents dignity and grace. White is symbolic of happiness and joy, and purple is the perfect choice for presenting to your first true love.
Larkspur Through History
Larkspur has a storied history in legend and mythology, and even has a few poetic names. It was called larkspur because its petals resemble the spur of a medieval knight and the claws of the Meadowlark. Shakespeare called it Lark’s Heel and it has also been referred to throughout history as Lark’s Claw and Knight’s Spur.
Delphinium, on the other hand, is said to have gotten its name because it resembles a dolphin!
In Greek mythology, larkspur grew from the spilled blood of the warrior Ajax during the Trojan War. Another myth has it blooming from the blood of a slain dragon and bits of crumbling blue sky.
An American Indian legend is a bit gentler in its depiction of a celestial being descending to earth along a slice of sky that dried under the sun and scattered pieces into the wind. Wherever they landed, a larkspur was born.
Larkspur has, at various times in history, been used to ward off ghosts and spirits, to keep witches away, and to repel insects.
And, as we mentioned earlier, it was a favorite of none other than George Washington. It is one of the few flowers that are mentioned in his letters and it currently grows in abundance in the gardens at the Mount Vernon estate.
Want To Plant Them?
The first thing you should know about growing larkspur is that it is highly toxic for both humans and animals when ingested. Deer avoid it, and many a cattle has met its demise over it. If this isn’t a concern for you (or if you’d like to keep deer out of your garden!) then you can enjoy this flower as a border plant, in a container garden, or in a floral arrangement.
They’re a cinch to grow from seed and can grow anywhere from one to a stunning seven feet tall. These blooms prefers full sun and moist, cool soil, which you can foster with a nice layer of mulch to offer the environment most likely to make these flowers thrive.
They’re perfect for cottage gardens, wildflower gardens, and as a backdrop along fences.
Don’t worry about pruning them – true larkspur is an annual, which means that once the season is over it will die back on its own so you can replant again in spring.
Bonus Flower: Water Lily
July babies are extra lucky because as an added bonus, they get a second birth month flower and a favorite of pond owners everywhere – the water lily.
They’re not only the belle of the aquatic ball but an important part of a balanced ecosystem. They keep water shaded to protect against algae blooms, provide a food source for fish and other critters, and act as a filter to keep water clean and healthy.
The white variety represents purity and innocence. Pink lilies signify joy and friendship. In Buddhism they represent rebirth and enlightenment, and ancient Greeks revered them as protectors of the water.
If you want to claim this fan favorite as your birth month flower, your inner beauty shines through. And although you come from humble beginnings, you will rise up to achieve great things – or maybe you already have! Personal growth is your strength, leading to knowledge, wisdom and success.
As a bearer of the water lily, you bring harmony to the world around you, finding common ground and bringing disparate ideas and personalities together.
And, like the water lily, you adapt – grow these beauties in just about any size pond, even in a container garden.
Do either of these flowers resonate with you? Are you the stately protector or the harmonious leader? Maybe a bit of both!
If you’d love a chance to host either of these beauties in your yard, book a consultation with us and let’s plan a beautiful space that you can enjoy and appreciate – not just during your birth month but all year long.