There are bunnies in my garden! But that’s OK, I like these bunnies. They have little white faces surrounded by pink flower petals. They are one of the new Texas Superstars; their name is bunny bloom larkspur. I have the pine variety but there is also a blue bunny bloom.
Bunny bloom larkspur (Consolida ambigua) is a beautiful reseeding annual with the face of a bunny in every flower. Tightly compact blossoms are arranged on spikes.
For several days after blooms open, the bunny head can be detected. If the presence of a cute bunny head in a flower in not enough to excite you, guess when larkspur bloom in this area. Around Easter! What fun for the children!
Larkspur is exceedingly easy to grow and returns each year on its own. Planted in full sun or partial shade, it reaches a height of 3 feet with a 1-foot spread and blooms each spring.
The foliage is a lacy evergreen. Seeds are sown in the fall. Heavy mulches cannot be used in areas where reseeding annuals are desired as the seed must make contact with the soil.
Transplants may be found in the nurseries January and February. This is an ideal time to plant transplants to add greenery to an otherwise dreary winter landscape.
Once you plant bunny blooms and if you let the bunnies drop their faces and mature seed pods, you will be blessed with an abundance of bloom for years – this plant multiplies just as the rabbits it displays with such beauty.
Although larkspurs grow during winter, it takes the warmth of spring to coax them into rapid growth. They reach their full height shortly after Easter in north central Texas. The plants are spectacular, easily grown and make wonderful fresh, as well as dried, cut flowers. Thinning the seedlings to 10 inches apart will result in a spectacular display.
Plant them in well-drained soil with a moderate amount of watering as they tend to rot at the base in soils that retain excessive moisture. Give them plenty of room where they can spread freely in years to come.
A word of caution – do not eat flower, leaves or seed as they are highly toxic.
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.
Shirley Campbell is an Ellis County Master Gardener and a regular contributor to the Waxahachie Daily Light.