July Birth Flowers: The Stories of Larkspur & Water Lily

 Water Lily In Lake

A July birth flower may be the perfect addition to your flower garden, or you can send one as a thoughtful birthday gift. There is more than one July flower, so you have a few choices. The two flowers that represent July are larkspur and water lily.

Lovely Larkspur as July's Birth Flower

If you want a cottage garden look, you just have to include larkspur (Consolida ajacis), also known as giant larkspur. This classic flower is a favorite cut flower among gardeners. The straight stalks with blue flowers make a wonderful addition to any summer bouquet. The fairy-like appearance of the graceful blue and purple blossoms adds charm and mystique to your garden and floral arrangements.

Larkspur and Rufous Hummingbird

Larkspur Colors and Meanings

The rich blue and purple flowers are readily recognizable as belonging to the larkspur species. In addition to these classic colors, gardeners find the red, pink, and white blossoms a wonderful color enhancement to their gardens. If you wish to gift someone with a July birthday, the larkspur is a traditional symbol of a love bond that is deep and strong. It also is a symbol of adoration. The different larkspur colors have specific meanings, which include:

  • Blue means grace.
  • White is a great color to express your happiness.
  • Pink means indecision or fickleness.
  • Purple is ideal for sending to your first love.

Growing Larkspur

Larkspurs are annuals, and you can either start them from seed or buy from a local nursery or garden center. Once you plant these flowers, they will self-seed every year.

Sun, Water, and Soil Requirements

To grow and bloom:

  • Larkspurs need to be planted in a garden space that receives either full sun or at least 6 hours of sunlight.
  • You'll need to keep the soil moist with a 1" of water per week.
  • The larkspur thrives in soil that is slightly alkaline.
  • You can grow larkspur in flower beds, for borders, and in containers/flowerpots that can support tall plants.

Larkspur vs. Tall Larkspur

Before larkspur was given its own genus, it was cataloged with delphinium. In fact, the Delphinium exaltatum is known as tall larkspur. These flowers grow up to 6' tall and produce larger blossoms and considerably more blooms per spike. Tall larkspur is a perennial, while larkspur genus Consolida is an annual. The Larkspur Consolida grows between 1'-3' tall, although some varieties can grow taller. The plant has a spread of 6"-18" with the blooms ranging just under 1" long. Other you may want to consider include dwarf hyacinth-flower larkspur (D. Ajacis hyacinthiflorum) and dwarf larkspur (D. Ajacis minus).

Larkspur in Greek Mythology

According to Greek mythology, this July flower is tied to the Battle of Troy. The famous beloved warrior, Achilles, died in the battle. In the wake of his death, both Ulysses and Ajax claimed Achilles' armor. In the end, Ulysses was awarded the fallen hero's battle armor. So, enraged over the decision, Ajax threw himself on his sword, and larkspur flowers emerged where his blood soaked into the ground.

Water Lily as a July Flower

The water lily is part of the Nymphaeaceae family. The genus Nymphaea has 58 species with the most common North American being the Nymphaea odorata. This showy blossom is picturesque and makes an ideal choice for a small water garden or garden pond.

Three different colored open water lily flowers in a pond

Water Lily Description and Meanings

The water lily blossom is star shaped and resembles the lotus flower. Both flowers live in and on top of the water's surface. The water lily survives in water thanks to its flimsy stems that allow the flower to float on top of the water. The leaves are broad and flat, making them ideal for water surfaces, and the flowers have a concave shape.

You may decide that a water lily is a good gift for someone with a July birthday. A fresh bouquet of water lilies will make a bold statement for a great July birthday present. The water lily is a symbol of purity and has several meanings, such as:

  • Rebirth
  • Fertility
  • Hope
  • Enlightenment
  • Peace
  • Celebration

You can find water lily blossoms in white, yellow, pink, and red. Different colors bring special meanings to this mystical plant, which is something to keep in mind when giving as a gift to someone with a July birthday.

  • Red means passionate love.
  • White brings feelings of peace and a symbol of purity.
  • Pink means wisdom and knowledge.
  • Purple means royalty and power.

Planting and Growing Water Lily

You can plant the water lily tubers much like rhizomes.

  • Plant the tubers in the soil underneath the water.
  • The stems will emerge and grow to the surface, where the blossoms will then float on top of the water surface.
  • They bloom beginning in late spring and ending in early fall.
  • Maintain the ideal water lily pond coverage between 50% - 60% and no more.
  • You probably won't need to fertilize the water lilies once they are a part of the pond ecosystem. Fertilizing water lilies tends to stimulate algae growth, so avoid it if possible.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Planting Water Lilies

Water lilies have both benefits and drawbacks, so if you're planning on incorporating this July flower into your garden, keep the following in mind:

  • Water lilies support aquatic ecosystem in a garden pond or pool.
  • The blossoms are short-lived for only a few days.
  • Aside from the plants' brief flowering, the main reason to plant water lilies in your garden pond or pool is to ensure a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
  • Water lilies also keep algae at bay.
  • The lily pads offer screening from the heat to aquatic animals like frogs and fish.
  • Water lilies are rich food providers not just to aquatic life, but wildlife such as deer, ducks, and even beavers.
  • Use water lilies only as ornamental plants in self-contained ponds, pools, or flower containers to prevent the plant from becoming invasive. For example, you should never plant water lilies in lake water, such as in front of your lake house, since water lilies are a common problem in lakes.
  • The water lily can crowd out other plant life and block the sun, oxygen, and nutrients to aquatic life.

Additionally, plant Nymphaea odorata water lilies and avoid the poisonous Nymphaea tuberosa. Even the water that the Nymphaea tuberosa grows in can become poisonous. Dogs especially are susceptible should they drink the water or chew on the plant/flower.

Water Lily for Medicinal Purposes

For centuries, certain water lilies have been used for medicinal purposes throughout world cultures. Ailments such as skin conditions, fevers, mouth sores, and inflammation are treated with a tea or essential oil made from the flowers.

Greek Mythology Water Nymphs

In Greek mythology, the water lilies were often nymphs in disguise or the hiding places of nymphs. The water nymphs were gods. They were the embodiment of feminine spirits or, more aptly, elementals. Different types of nymphs lived in oceans, lakes, wells, ponds, springs, and rivers. They were considered the protectors and guardians of these bodies of water.

Choose Your Favorite July Birth Flower

You can choose between a larkspur and water lily for a July birth flower. Each July flower has much to offer you as a symbol of your birth month.

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July Birth Flowers: The Stories of Larkspur & Water Lily