Family: Ranunculaceae
Common Name: Monkshood

In mid to late summer these herbaceous perennials produce tall, slender spires of helmet-shaped flowers in shades of blue, purple, white and yellow. Being tall, aconitums are useful in the garden, particularly for planting at the back of a border. All parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten so it should not be accessible to young children.


A. lycoctonum, wolfsbane, zone 3, has purple-lilac flowers. A. nape/Ins, monkshood, zone 6, grows to over 1 m (3 ft) high, bearing deep blue spires of flowers in summer. There are a number of named cultivars of Aconitum in existence, most of them with flowers in various shades of lilac and blue. There is a good choice of species available in the UK. Some species and cultivars that are less often grown have yellow or white flowers.


Aconitums require cool temperate Climates. Grow in rich soil in partial shade, water regularly and fertilize in spring. The best flowering may not occur until two or three years after they are planted. Propagate either by seed or by root division. Staking is generally needed only when the position is very exposed.


Moist, cool to cold areas.

Acokanthera      Acorus