Delphinium vestitum ‘David Bassett’
David and Shirley Bassett are considered world authorities on Delphiniums, including lovely Delphinium vestitum.
David and Shirley garden, live and breath Delphiniums near Oxford in England.
Here these two wonderful plantspeople raise intriguing new Delphinium varieties.
Then they take them to shows so we can all fall in love with them, and save precious seed.
So their recent book about Delphiniums is the “ants pants” on the genus.
(See “Growing” section below for plant details and growing advice)
A Delphinium to honour David & Shirley
This lovely, very different, and hardy Delphinium vestitum has been raised from seed, divided to keep it true, and named to honour David Bassett and his work.
And by the way, the common name of “Clothed Delphinium” acknowledges that every part of this unusual plant is hairy. Even the flowers. Hence vestitum, meaning clothed.
Black hearted baggy britches of violet-blue
Delphinium vestitum has large, baggy flowers stacked up the stems.
And each flower has a prominent black heart, surrounded by rich violet-blue petals.
But the foliage of Delphinium vestitum is also lovely.
Because each hairy leaf is rounded like a scallop.
Long blooming & weather proof
Delphinium vestitum really knows how to put on a show, with a long blooming period over summer.
And strong, stout flower stems make it sturdy and weather proof.
So there is no need for staking or protection.
And flower stems also make excellent cut flowers.
Growing: Delphinium vestitum ‘David Bassett’
– Height with flowers: 40cm approx.
– Width: Scallop shaped hairy leaves form a handsome clump, to a diameter of 45cm approx.
– Position: Plant in Sun to Partial Shade, depending on how hot your district is.
Though Delphinium vestitum is used to surviving rugged conditions. Hence the whole plant is very hairy, to protect it from the extremes of heat and cold on the rocky slopes where it grows wild.
– Soil: A fertile and well-drained soil is just perfect.
Delphinium vestitum is quite used to growing amongst rocky or gravel soils, but it does like a feed.
– Fragrance: No fragrance, but the exquisite baggy blooms make up for this.
– Frost: Delphinium vestitum is very frost hardy. So it can withstand hard frosts down to -15C.
– Growth: Perennial clump.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees, butterflies and nectar sipping native birds just love getting their noses into the tubular flowers.
– Beware: All members of the Delphinium genus are toxic to humans and animals.
– Care: Gloves should be worn when working with Delphiniums. So avoid getting the sap on your hands.
Delphiniums are heavy feeders. So they love a good fertilise in early spring, as well as another feed later in the season.
Cut back to ground level once the clump has finished flowering.
Mulch helps retain moisture and keeps roots cool.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: The pests should be too smart to have a nibble due to the toxic compounds in Delphiniums.
– Origin: Native to rocky slopes of the Himalaya.