Aconite, Monkshood

FAMILY: Ranunculaceae | GENUS: ACONITUM

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

Difficult plants to grow in most of the South, as they dislike extended summer heat, drought, and mild winters. Sow seeds in moist, fertile, well-drained soil in late summer or autumn for flowers the following year. Seedlings started in spring may take a year to bloom. Aconite combines effectively with hosta, ferns, meadow rue (Thalictrum), and astilbe in lightly shaded gardens; it can also substitute for delphinium in shade. Plants are seldom browsed by deer.

garden monkshood

aconitum carmichaelii

  • Native to central China.
  • Densely foliaged plant 24 feet high, nearly as wide.
  • Leathery, dark green leaves are lobed and coarsely toothed.
  • Blooms from late summer into fall; deep purple-blue flowers form dense, branching clusters 48 inches long.
  • Selections of the Wilsonii group grow 68 feet high and 12 feet wide, has more open flower clusters 1018 inches long.
  • 'Arendsii' grows 2-4 feet high, blooms azure blue, and may be the best for the South.

aconitum napellus

  • Native to Europe.
  • Upright, leafy plants 25 feet high, up to 1 feet wide.
  • Leaves 25 inches wide, divided into narrow lobes.
  • Spikelike clusters of typically blue or violet flowers in late summer.

aconitum selections and hybrids

  • The following grow to about 312 feet tall, 1 feet wide.
  • Leaves are deeply cut.

Bressingham Spire

  • Upright plant with deep violet blossom spikes from midsummer to early fall.
  • Glossy, dark green leaves.

Eleonara

  • White flowers edged in bluish purple; early summer bloom.
  • Glossy, deep green leaves.

Stainless Steel

  • Steel blue flowers in loosely branched spikes bloom in midsummer.
  • Dark grayish green leaves.

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