We know that Delphinium derived its name due to its similarity with the dolphin, which inhabits in the Ionian Sea. But, in fact, the birthplace of this flower is China.
There is one ancient Greek legend about a sculptor who managed to create of his beloved and brought her to life. The Gods turned him into a dolphin as only the divine essence could return from the underworld. Each evening the dolphin came closer to a shore hoping to meet his love. One day, the dolphin came out the water and presented her a bouquet of flowers similar to the small dolphins. Soon, this mammal disappeared forever. Another legend tells us that Delphinium got its name in honor of ancient Greek city, Delphi, where this flower grew up at every turn. Besides, there was the famous Temple of Apollo and lived the Oracle of Delphi in this town.
Healing & Magical Properties
Delphinium was unknown to headliners until Pliny described this flower in his famous treatise. Pliny mentioned a recipe, according to which Delphinium was a remedy to cure wounds, whence its second name "Larkspur."
The ancient Greeks considered Delphinium as the flower of sadness due to another legend about the taking of Troy, where Ajax and Achilles died. According to this legend, after the death of Achilles, his armor went to Odysseus instead of Ajax. Being in despair, Ajax threw himself onto his sword. The droplets of his blood fell down the ground, where the beautiful flowers of Delphinium grew up soon.
The intensive cultivation of Delphinium began just in the first half of the 20th century in England, Germany, and the US. Frank Reinelt managed to achieve the most outstanding results of the selection work. He published an article about this flower in 1938. In the period of 1934-1940, he cultivated 12 new varieties of this flower.
Since ancient times, people have used Delphinium not only in floriculture. The Indians decorated the altars using this flower. In Mongolia and Tibet, the locals used Delphinium to cure the intoxication. Presently, the people of Iran and Afghanistan use it to create the famous Persian carpets.