ACONITUM Monkshood

Monkshood has flourished in British gardens for many hundreds of years, and will flourish in yours if the soil is rich in organic matter and there is some shade – an ideal plant for growing under trees at the back of the border. The leaves are deeply cut and the curiously helmeted flowers are borne on tall spikes. It is sometimes recommended as a cut flower, but all parts of the plant are poisonous.

VARIETIES: The best species for the garden is A. napellus. The flower colour is usually blue or violet and its statistics are height 3.5 ft. Spacing 2 ft.

Flowering period: June-August. The most popular variety is ‘Bressingham Spire’ (violet) – others include ‘Bicolor’ (blue and white), ‘Newry Blue’ (deep blue) and the tall ‘Spark’s Variety’ (4.5 ft). For a rose-colouredonechoose A. napellus roseum and for maximum height you will have to grow A. wilsonii ‘Barker’s Variety’ which grows 5 ft or more and flowers until October.

SITE AND SOIL: Any moisture-holding garden soil will do -thrives best in partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

A. ‘Spark’s Variety’

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