Monkshood

Height: 90-180cm (3-6ft)

Planting distance: 40-45cm (16-18in)

Features: flowers summer to autumn

Soil: deep, moist

Site: partial shade

Type: herbaceous

Monkshood, though poisonous, is a stately plant with robust, glossy leaves and tall spikes of blue, violet, lavender, white or pale pink helmet-shaped flowers.

Popular species and varieties:

Aconitum carmichaelii (syn. A. fischeri), up to I .<Sm (6ft) tall, has violet-blue flower spikes late summer to early autumn. Varieties include ‘Arendsii’ (amethyst-blue flowers) and ‘Kelmscott’ (lavender-violet). Acotiitum ‘Ivorine’ grows up to 90cm (3ft) and has yellow-white flowers and glossy green leaves. Aconitum napellus has deep blue flowers, and leaves divided into pointed segments. Varieties include ‘Album’ (off-white blooms), ‘Bressingham Spire’ (violet-blue).

Aconitum ‘Ivorine’ and ‘Carneum’ (pale shell-pink); all about 90cm (3ft) tall.

Cultivation

Plant from autumn to early spring in deep, moist soil in partial shade.

Propagation: Divide the roots from autumn to early spring and replant immediately.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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