Family: Ranunculaceae

Scientific Name: Aconitum napellus

Common Name: Monkshood, Helmet Flower

DescriptionA tall vertical plant with dark blue flowers. Most all parts of this plant are poisonous.
Plant TypeAll Plants, Perennials Hardy
Hardiness ZoneCold hardy 4-8, AHS 8-3
Sunlightpartial shade to full sun
Moistureaverage to moist, avoid dry
Soil & SitePrefers moist soils with abundant organic matter.
Flowersshaped like small helmets or hoods with a beaked front, mostly blue with a few bicolors
Leavespalmately veined, deeply divided to the center
DimensionsA tall vertical plant reaching 3-4 feet by 12-18" depending on the cultivar.
MaintenanceSlow to recover from division so best left in place. May need staking. Remember to wash all equipment and hands after working with plant. Can be cut back to control height but this will mean loss of the larger terminal buds.
Propagationslow from seed, division
Native SiteNative to Europe
Misc FactsA very toxic plant ingestion of or even touching the sap can cause cardiac or respiratory failure The leaves and roots contain aconitin a narcotic alkaloid. Wash hands after handling this plant. Native to Europe.
Notes & Reference#40-Manual of Herbaceous Plants (Steven Stills), #54-The Well Tended Garden (DiSabato-Aust), #79-Perennials For Every Purpose (Larry Hodgson)
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