Consolida is a hardy annual that reaches from 30 to 120 cm (1 to 4 feet) in height.
The plants are very upright, and can have spires of blue, white, purple or pink flowers.
They bloom from Summer into the beginning of autumn. Consolida plants are also known by their common names of Larkspur and Annual Delphinium.
Consolida orientalis - Oriental knight's-spur by Miguel.Respenda.
Consolida ambigua by Carl E Lewis.
Common Names: Larkspur, Knight's-Spur.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual.
Height: 18 to 40 inches (45 to 100 cm).
Native: Europe, Mediterranean, Central Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Summer and early autumn.
Flower Details: Pink, purple, white, salmon, violet, blue. Branched spike. Singles and doubles.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Feathery.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Late autumn. Spacing 10 to 24 inches (25 to 60 cm) depending on species size.
Sow Inside: Sow seeds in soil within a peat pot, put in a bag, and chill in the fridge for two weeks. Germination time: two to three weeks in the dark. Temperature 50 to 54°F (10 to 12°C). Start eight to ten weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Rich soils. Soil pH 6 to 8. Use manure. Stake tall plants. Deadhead. Supply two feeds during vegetative growth period.
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup and Crowfoot).
Closely Related Species: Aconite; Columbine; Meadow Rue; False Hellebore; Christmas Rose; Clematis Plants; and Black Cumin.
Miscellaneous: A confusing genus. Members of the Consolida genus differ from Delphinium in their flower structure, which is looser and more open; and in their fruits. However many members are commonly given both the Consolida and Delphinium prefixes.
Larkspur can be grown outside from seed. The seed should be sown outside before the last frost of spring or in the autumn. Once the seed is laid down it should be lightly covered.
Sow seeds into a sunny area of the garden that has a rich organic soil.
If planning to grow Consolida seedlings indoors then the seeds should first be prepared by placing them (within soil) in a black bag, then putting them in the fridge for two weeks. Seeds should then be sown out in peat pots and grown in the dark at a temperature of 10 to 12 Celsius (50 to 54°F); they normally take about two or three weeks to germinate.
Seedlings should then be transplanted following the last frost of spring at a spacing of 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 inches).
Larkspur (Consolida) is pretty easy to care for: they should be staked; require a light fertilizing a couple of times over their growing season; and should be dead-headed to prevent them from setting seed and taking over the garden.