An upstanding flower with brilliant blue/purple blossoms, the delphinium flower is a striking image for a tattoo. It also holds a breadth of historical and contemporary symbolism to give it a meaning to match its dramatic appearance.
The delphinium is a colorful and vibrant bloom, making it a striking aesthetic choice for a tattoo. It also carries connotations of goodwill, hope and protection for those looking for a more symbolic meaning.
This article explores the history of the delphinium flower and its use in tattoos, as well as the symbolism and meanings behind the delphinium in tattoo imagery.
What is the History of the Delphinium Tattoos?
The history of the delphinium is somewhat unclear, both in terms of imagery and its use in flower arrangements and gardens. The reason is its close resemblance to the flower known as the larkspur.
The larkspur and delphinium are closely related, to the point that many flower enthusiasts use the names interchangeably. Their similarity in appearance means the confusion has carried over to tattoos and other imagery.
Differences Between Larkspur and Delphinium Appearance and Tattoo History:
Delphiniums have more rounded petals than larkspurs. In fact, the actual flower shape somewhat resembles the buttercup, which belongs in the same family of flowers.
Delphiniums are usually depicted with a more upright stalk, with flowers close to the main stem, similar to a bluebell or a bluebonnet. Larkspurs have a looser arrangement
Delphinium blooms usually grow closer together, and are depicted that way in tattoos and other imagery. Larkspurs usually feature a looser collection of flowers, sometimes with a less upright stem.
Historical Reference to the Delphinium:
The flower is native the Northern Hemisphere. It was originally found in Europe, North and Central Asia.
The name Delphinium comes from the appearance, which Greeks compared to the shape of a dolphin’s head.
According to Greek mythology, the flower originates with Ajax, a hero of the Trojan War who died in combat. His blood became flowers as a sign of his heroism.
The common misnaming of the flower as a ‘larkspur’ comes from the shape of the seedpod.
It was first mentioned as an ornamental bloom in Europe in 1664, when it was recommended both as a garden bloom and a cut flower for floral arrangements.
In the 19th century, hybridization of the delphinium became popular, starting with Victor Lemoine, leading to a range of colors and sizes.
The beautiful and deep colors of the delphinium were a popular source of dyes, especially the blue flowers.
It was carried in medieval times to ward off scorpion stings, as well as internal parasites
What Do Delphinium Symbolize?
Delphinium has a number of associations. Common symbolism includes:
- Cheerfulness and Goodwill
- They can be offered as a protective plant
- They can communicate joy and encouragement
- Remembrance of loved ones passed.
Delphiniums come in several different colors, each of which carries its own symbolism:
- Deep Blue: Dignity, Grace and Forgiveness
- Pale Pastel Pinks and Blues: Youth and Renewal
- Pink: The birth of a child, especially a daughter or granddaughter – Also new beginnings in general
- Deep Red: Ardent and burning passion
- Medium Blues: Peace, Serenity and Order
- Purple: Large-hearted, or one’s first true love – also ambition
- White: Good Health, Protection, Swiftness, and Lightness of Being
What Do Delphinium Tattoos Mean?
One of the common reasons for choosing a delphinium tattoo is its connection to the month of July. It’s one of the official birth flowers for the month, so it can be used to symbolize a birthday in July, or another significant event.
The Delphinium is also used to symbolize someone with a light-hearted or generous personality.
Delphinium tattoos can also represent desires and hopes for a fresh start, or depict the memory of a new beginning.
Depending on the color, a Delphinium may represent a person’s feelings about a relationship, either recently begun or ended.
It can also be used as an accent flower, with its striking color and imagery. Aesthetically, it’s a popular choice even without the associated meanings.
Paired with names and dates, it’s usually symbolic of a person, a relationship or a new beginning in life.
Paired with other symbols such as animals or other flowers, it can be representative of a more focused and specific message, a reminder of significant persons, personality traits that are sought or represented.
Where Do Delphinium Tattoos Usually Go?
The Delphinium is often confused with the larkspur, leading to a wider assortment of places it’s been used as a tattoo. However, there are a few definite preferences for delphiniums specifically.
The forearm and wrist are both popular locations for delphiniums. These are often single stems with multiple blooms.
The ankle is another popular location for delphinium blooms, usually smaller images with single or double stems.
Though a less common choice, there are some beautiful depictions of larger delphinium stems that can be worn across the upper back, often between the shoulder blades.
Single winding stems with fewer blooms are sometimes done on upper arms or sides, but are fairly rare as a choice for the delphinium flower tattoo
Characteristics and Styles of Delphinium Tattoos:
The striking nature of the delphinium flower means that tattoos of it tend to share many characteristics.
- Tattoos of Delphiniums are usually done as a single or double stalk, fully laden with a sizable cluster of blossoms.
- Though they can have other colors, most color representations of these flowers are done in shades of deep blue, indigo, or violet, in keeping with the rich natural color the plants possess, and the dyes they were once used in.
- Most Delphinium tattoos are done as illustrated or realistic representations, to showcase their naturally stunning appearance.
- Sketch pen-and-ink style tattoos are not as frequent as color artwork, and usually very detailed.
- Some tattoo designs for this flower are also done in a watercolor style depiction, though this is an uncommon choice.
- Some depictions are done with white or pastel colored centers, representing what is known as a ‘star delphinium’.
Whatever stylistic representation you prefer, the delphinium is an elegant and beautiful flower with a wealth of positive meaning behind it. Whether it’s a representation of a special someone, July’s significance, or something else, this flower is an amazing way to depict positive associations in your tattoo choices.