Birthday Flower Facts Flower Information Summer

July Birth Flowers: Larkspur and Water Lily

Close-up of blue-violet larkspur flowers growing outside

It’s midsummer, which means it’s time to think about July birthdays! Sending flowers is a popular way to say “happy birthday,” and some of the best blooms to send would be July’s birth month flowers. But what is the birth flower for July? Well, there’s actually two: the larkspur and water lily. The connection between flowers and birth months began in ancient Rome, rooted in the belief that certain flowers brought protection and good luck during the months they were in bloom. As this custom evolved around the world, other cultures developed their own birth month flowers and symbolism. 

In modern tradition, many months are represented by two birth flowers, a primary and a secondary flower. Why two? For the true romantic who digs deep for meaning, two flowers means layers of symbolism. As for the purely practical, in some regions, the two flowers span a longer growing season, making one more available than another. And to cover both bases, having two birth month flowers means maximum flexibility to customize a birthday bouquet according to the receiver’s personality, preferences, and culture.

Primary July Birth Flower: Larkspur (Delphinium)

Close-up of violet larkspur (or delphinium) flowers

Larkspur (also known as delphinium) is not only one of the two July birth flowers, but is a member of the buttercup family and can be found both growing wild and cultivated in gardens. Larkspurs grow tall – annuals up to two feet and perennials up to eight feet – with spikes that produce bell-shaped single and double blooms. The handsome flower clusters come in over 400 varieties, in vivid shades of pink, purple, indigo, true blue, and white. 

The tall, vertical stems with their intensely colored flower spikes seem tailor-made for bouquets and arrangements. A July birthday bouquet featuring larkspur is sure to delight, and not only can you customize the bouquet’s style and color, you can take it a step further by curating through the various symbolic meanings of larkspurs for a truly personal birthday bouquet.

Note: Larkspur is extremely poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. Be sure to place them out of reach for children and pets.

Larkspur Symbolism

In general, larkspur represents love, dedication, positivity, and sincerity, but the symbolism doesn’t end there! Larkspurs are prominent in floriography, the Victorian era language of flowers. In this floral code, larkspurs generally represent lightness and swiftness. But be mindful, pink signals fickleness, and purple larkspurs symbolize haughtiness! 

The beloved blue larkspur conveys grace and dignity, and white symbolizes happiness, so these colors are a gloriously safe bet if you’re looking to send a meaningful message of birthday love with larkspurs.

Larkspur Varieties

Larkspurs are known for their brilliant blue hues, and as you can see, there’s quite a range of them, as well as some worthy favorites in purple and red.

  • Black Knight Larkspur (Delphinium ‘Galahad’): 4-6 feet tall, deep purple blooms.
  • Blue Mirror Larkspur (Delphinium ‘Blue Mirror’): dwarf, 2 feet tall, blue and lavender flowers.
  • Cassius Larkspur (Delphinium ‘Cassius’):  6-7 feet tall, blue blossoms with black centers.
  • Red Lark Larkspur (Delphinium ‘Red Lark’): 2-3 feet with rare red blooms.
  • Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne): 1-3 feet tall, deep violet flowers.

Larkspur History and Trivia

The larkspur has a well-traveled history with some fantastical highlights. In Greek mythology, larkspur emerged from the blood of Ajax in the Battle of Troy, when he killed himself after being denied fallen Achilles’s armor. Other origin stories involve larkspur growing from the blue blood of a slain dragon mixed with its venom, and blue pieces of the sky falling to the ground and blooming. 

These origins foretell the larkspur’s reputation for protection and healing. In England, people believed larkspur sprinkled in bath water would protect them against ghosts and magic. In Transylvania, it was planted near stables to ward off witches, and the Victorian era championed larkspur as a protector from evil.

Greece found medical value in larkspur, using it to treat open wounds. Eventually, larkspur was naturalized in the United States, and Native Americans used the flowers to repel insects and to make dyes. Today, larkspurs grace all sorts of gardens, valued for attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, and for their popularity as cut flowers.

Secondary July Birth Flower: Water Lily (Nymphaea)

Close-up of violet water lily flower blooming

Fragrant water lilies are reminiscent of everything we love about summer. They live in the lakes and ponds we frequent on hot days, floating on the water with enviable ease, and gracing it with color and enchanting perfume. Their leaves and flowers vary in shape and size – rounded, smooth, star-shaped, or jagged. The flowers appear fleetingly, lasting just three or four days, from early spring to late fall, peaking in midsummer, making it the perfect option as a July birth flower.

Water lilies are stunning to look at, but there’s a lot going on beneath the serene surface. Though the leaves and flowers seem to float freely on the water, their roots are grounded in the mud beneath. And the aquatic ecosystem below relies on water lilies to provide crucial shade and to protect fish and wildlife from predatory birds and other threats. As if that isn’t more than enough contribution, water lilies are a source of spiritual symbolism and creative inspiration.

Water Lily Symbolism

Much of the water lily’s symbolism revolves around their environment and the way they grow. They’re associated with birth and renewal because of the way the flowers emerge from the water. Extending this symbolism, their ability to rise from the sludge of the water’s floor all the way to the surface, the flowers immaculate and free of traces of mud mud they grew from, represents enlightenment. These symbolic connections hold spiritual significance in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Further meanings are connected with water lilies depending on their color:

  • White water lilies represent purity.
  • Purple water lilies are symbolic of power and majesty.
  • Red water lilies send messages of pure love and romance.
  • Blue water lilies represent the power of knowledge.
  • Pink water lilies symbolize joy and friendship.
  • Yellow water lilies are symbols of energy and new beginnings.

Water Lily Varieties

There are about 70 unique water lily varieties, in a surprising rainbow of colors. Most are found in natural water bodies like lakes and ponds, but there are miniature varieties that can be grown in small ponds, containers, or water features for passionate home gardeners. 

  • Nymphaea Darwin, known as the Pink Water Lily, is the ubiquitous lily that most associate with the flowers, with pale pink inner petals, the color intensifying to darker bright pink.
  • Nymphaea Capensis, or Cape Blue Water Lily, has thin, spiky petals ranging in color from deep purple to pale indigo, with yellow and purple centers. The Cape Blue has a couple of unique features: they can survive long periods without water, and bloom repeatedly throughout the year.
  • Afterglow Water Lily lives up to its name, giving the appearance that it’s glowing! The look is created by the petals, which are yellow near the center, gradually deepening to dark pink, giving the impression of glowing with light from inside.
  • Nymphaea Laydekeri Lilacea, an easy to grow miniature, has delicate looking petals that fade from lilac pink at the center to white at the tips.
  • Nymphaea Paul Hariot is a bold miniature with layers of spiky petals that are yellow at the center, deepening to orange-red with pale outer petals and mottled green leaves.

Water Lily History and Trivia

The water lily’s botanical name, Nymphaeaceae, comes from Greek divinities, so it’s fitting that in Greek legend, they are considered protectors of the water. Egyptian legend credits a blue water lily for the creation of the gods, and most interestingly, monks and nuns were known to use the crushed roots of water lilies as an aphrodisiac. It’s also been used as a painkiller, sedative, and anti-inflammatory, and was said to remedy insomnia.

Painter Claude Monet was famously captivated with water lilies, making them the subject of over 250 works, most of them painted at his home in Giverny, France. The International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society was founded in 1984, for those with a passion for this unique flower.

Water lilies are important in the study of horticulture. The subject of much research, at one time they were believed to represent the earliest floral petal pattern. Native only to freshwater bodies, water lilies can grow to remarkable size, with a naturally sturdy support system. The largest water lily grows in the Amazon basin, with leaves that measure up to 3 feet across, and stalks 23 – 26 feet supporting them! The intricate system of rib-like ridges undergirding the leaves is said to have inspired the supporting structure for the Crystal Palace in the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

Order July Birth Month Flowers from The Bouqs Co.

A birthday bouquet is sure to delight on that special day, and now that you know July’s birth flowers, you can send your loved ones the perfect gift! If a summery birthday flower delivery is just the thing for someone in your life this July, take a look at some arrangements featuring larkspur, along with a variety of the freshest, longest lasting bouquets you can get, delivered straight from the farm to your door. Be sure to check out what’s in store for August birthday flowers, too, and learn about the great June birth flowers while you’re here! Happy July birthday from The Bouqs!

Shop All

You Might Also Like