Scientific: Consolida ajacis (C. ambigua or Delphinium ambiguum)
Common: rocket larkspur, annual delphinium
Family: Ranunculaceae
Origin: Southern Europe, Mediterranean, naturalized in Asia. Rocket larkspur has been introduced and naturalized across temperate portions of North America.

Taxonomic note: Consolida is genus of herbaceous plants with an annual growth habit that is part of a larger group of plants called "Delpheniums". Plants actually in the genus Delphenium all have a perennial growth habit.

Pronounciation: Con-so-LI-da a-JA-cis

Hardiness zones
Sunset
All
USDA All

Landscape Use: Mixed flower borders, accent, containers.

Form & Character: Strongly erect, stiff, formal, fern- like.

Growth Habit: Moderate depending on cultivar from 1 to 4 feet tall, usually narrow with few lateral branches.

Foliage/Texture: Lower basal foliage have long petioles, yet upper foliage is sessile, 3 cleft and highly, linearly segmented, usually light green; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers single or double, 4 to 16 blooms set densely on terminal spike, mostly blue, some pink, white and violet, sepals about 5/8 inch long with slender spur; fruit inconspicuous.

Seasonal Color: In Phoenix, rocket larkspur blooms in early to mid spring.

Temperature: Delphiniums are intolerant of freezing conditions, but thrive during times of cooler weather when daytime highs are below 90oF. Cultivation in Phoenix is during fall, winter and spring. Summertimes are just too hot.

Light: Full sun to partial shade is best.

Soil: Not fussy, though growth is enhanced is soils are well drained and moderately amended with organic matter.

Watering: Regular

Pruning: Not needed.

Propagation: Sow seeds in the early fall in Phoenix and other mild climates. Seed germination can take up to 4 weeks. Thin out seedlings to 8 to 12 inches apart.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Rocket larkspur is a nice old-fashioned plant for mixed, mesic flower gardens. They are seldom found in Phoenix landscape gardens. All delphinium flowers including rocket larkspur are reportedly moderately toxic if ingested, though the mode of action and lethal human dosage are unknown.