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Zones A1-A3, 1-9, 14-21, 34-41, 43-45
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Regular Water
All parts are poisonous if ingested.


Aconite, Monkshood
Perennials, Flowers

Leaves, usually lobed, are held in basal clusters. Flowers shaped like hoods or helmets appear along tall spikes. Monkshood has a definite place under trees, at the back of flowerbeds, or even at the edge of a shaded bog garden. Good substitute for delphinium in shade.

Needs some winter chill; hard to establish in warm, dry climates. Sow seeds in spring, or sow in late summer or early fall for bloom the next year. Moist, rich soil for best growth and bloom. Divide in early spring or late fall, or leave undivided for years. Dies back in winter; mark site.

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Pink Sensation’ (photo courtesy of Visions BV, Netherlands)
Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Pink Sensation’ (photo courtesy of Visions BV, Netherlands)

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Aconitum carmichaelii

Native to eastern Asia. This densely foliaged plant grows to 2–4 ft. high and nearly as wide. Leathery, dark green leaves are lobed and coarsely toothed. Deep purple-blue flowers in dense, branching clusters bloom from late summer into fall. Plants in the Arendsii group have particularly strong stems; those in the Wilsonii group grow to 6–8 ft. high and 1–2 ft. wide, with more open flower clusters.

Aconitum napellus
Aconitum napellus

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Aconitum napellus

Native to Europe. Upright leafy plants 2–5 ft. high and about 1 ft. wide. Leaves 2–5 in. wide, divided into narrow lobes. Late summer flowers usually blue or violet, in spikelike clusters.

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