Aconitum is a very interesting genus that consists of over 250 species of flowering plants in the Ranunculaceae family. The flowers from the Aconitum genus originate from the mountainous regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America.
They grow mostly in habitats like mountain meadows, grassy slopes, scrubs, and forest margins at relatively high elevations.
The most popular ornamental species from this genus is none other than Aconitum napellus. However, all species come in lots of other shapes, varieties, and hybrids and you can choose the ones you love most. Some of the most eye-catching cultivars are ‘Albus’, ‘Arendsii’, ‘Bicolor’, ‘Blue Sceptre’, ‘Ivorine’, ‘Kelmscott’, ‘Newry Blue’, ‘Rubellum’, ‘Spark’s Variety’, and ‘Stainless Steel’.
- In cultivation, the plants from the Aconitum genus go by several common names. These include Aconite, Monkshood, Devil’s helmet, Blue rocket, Wolf’s bane, Mousebane, Women’s bane, Leopard’s bane, or Queen of poisons.
- Some of the Aconitum cultivars, such as A × cammarum ‘Bicolor’, A. carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’, A. carmichaelii ‘Kelmscott’, A. ‘Bressingham Spire’, A. ‘Spark’s Variety’, and A. ‘Stainless Steel’, have gained the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
- This beautiful flower has a long history of folkloric use mostly due to its toxic and even lethal properties. Throughout the time, people used Monkshood as a poison for wolves, bears, ibex, whales, etc.
- Numerous mythological characters, including Medea and Hecate, have used Monkshood to prepare a mixture for murderous and magical purposes. Also, folks used several species of Aconitum to make poison arrows for hunting and fighting.
- The roots of Aconite play a big part in traditional medicine. They have anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, cardiotonic, stimulant, antirheumatic, and vasodilator properties. The roots have been used as a treatment against cold, rheumatism, contusions, etc.
- Although Aconite has been used in many different ways over time, it is very important to handle it with care. Since all parts of this plant are highly poisonous, it is wise to use gloves when handling it to protect yourself. Likewise, make sure you grow your Monkshood in a location where your children, cats, or dogs cannot reach it and that you only use it for ornamental purposes.
- This flower is a versatile ornamental plant. It will look absolutely stunning in cottage gardens, rock gardens, wet gardens, borders, big containers, and you can even use the cut flowers to create beautiful bouquets.
- Monkshood can make for an excellent companion to many other species of plants. The companions include Alpine Bistort, Alpine Foxtail, Aster ‘Violet Queen’, Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, Coneflower, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Fireweed, Iris, Mountain Fleece, Nootka Lupine, Red Hot Poker, and Yarrow.
Monkshood Features: An Overview
- Monkshood is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant. Depending on the cultivar, this plant can reach from 2 to 4 feet (60-120 cm) in height and 1 to 2 feet (30-60 cm) in width. In optimum conditions, the plant may grow as tall as 5 feet (150 cm).
- Its foliage consists of numerous small, leathery, palmate to deeply palmate and lobed, toothed, and green leaves that appear in spirals on long, upright, rigid, and green-brownish stems. The leaves lack stipules and the lower ones feature long petioles.
- Monkshood blooms throughout the summer months. During this season, it produces racemes of large purple, blue, white, pink, yellow, greenish, red, or greyish flowers on tall, erect, wood-like, and green to brown stems.
- The blossoms of this plant have many stamens and one of the five petaloid sepals in the form of a cylindrical helmet called galea. They can exhibit two to ten petals. While the upper petals are pretty large, the other ones are usually smaller.
- Once its flowering period has ended, Monkshood bears fruits where the blooms were. The fruits are aggregates of follicles, where each follicle is a dry structure that contains many seeds.
In terms of lighting, Monkshood can grow very well in a wide variety of conditions. This plant will handle both full sunlight and partial shade. As a rule, the more direct light Monkshood receives, the better the blooming will be. If you live in a warmer region, however, you might want to grow this plant in a partially shaded location. The harsh summer or afternoon sunlight is not so good for Monkshood because it will burn its delicate petals with time.
One interesting fact about Monkshood is that it is not as fragile as it might appear. This flower is winter-hardy in the USDA zones 3 through 7. Moreover, since the plant comes from mountainous areas, it actually prefers weather that is more on the cooler side. Monkshood will not appreciate hot temperatures or high humidity levels. Keep in mind that the amount of shade this plant will need usually depends directly on how warm the weather is.
- Offering 20+ MONKSHOOD seeds, packaged in a paper seed envelope.
- Germination and growing instructions are clearly displayed on each package for successful gardening every time.
- Grow plants for food or try gardening as new hobby
- Seeds make great gifts for all ages
- 100 Monkshood plant Seeds
- Growth depends on soil and weather conditions.
- Item Package Quantity:1, No.of seeds : 100
- Country/Region Of Manufacture:United States, Mpn:Herb/Flowers
- Brand:Aconitum Napellus, Type:Herb
- Model:Monkshood, Patternname: 50 Seeds
Last update on 2023-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Monkshood is virtually pest-free, but we cannot say the same when it comes to fungal diseases. When this plant goes through a stressful period, it may become prone to various diseases like bacterial leaf blight, powdery mildew, crown rot, or verticillium wilt. These fungal diseases appear due to poor drainage overall and extreme humidity or heat.
If you want to prevent these issues from happening, make sure you are growing your Monkshood in proper environmental conditions. In case you already fight with an infection, remove the unhealthy parts from your plant, then treat it with a suitable fungicide.
In general, Monkshood grows at its best in moist soils that are also rich in organic matter and nutrients. But! Due to its innate love for moisture, the plant easily becomes susceptible to root rot. We warmly recommend planting your Monkshood in soil that comes with very sharp drainage overall. Although this plant prefers neutral to slightly acidic substrates, it will tolerate any other type of soil as long as it is well-draining.
The frequency of fertilizing will vary depending on the quality of the growing medium. The richer the soil is, the fewer applications of fertilizers your Monkshood will need. For optimal results, try to find the perfect high-in-organic-matter soil for your beloved plant. After this step, provide your Monkshood with compost and an organic fertilizer once every year in spring.
Since Monkshood is a late-season bloomer and does not bloom repeatedly, you can forget about deadheading for good. Likewise, once the frost shows its presence, the plant will naturally die back. The only time when you should intervene is if your Monkshood becomes somewhat leggy or too tall for your taste. When this happens, you can trim some of its foliage off to bring the plant to the desired length and shape.
As mentioned above, Monkshood is a fairly thirsty plant in general. This moisture-loving flower will require more attention than other ordinary plants. On the other hand, constant soggy conditions or waterlogging may cause serious fungal problems that are usually irreversible. We know, this might seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you are at the beginning of the road. But do not get discouraged!
Monkshood needs frequent watering only during its active growing period, typically in spring. In this season, you will have to spoil your plant with a nice drink whenever the top half of the soil feels dry to the touch. You can check the soil’s moisture using a finger or a moisture meter.
In the remaining seasons, Monkshood will do just fine if you water it only when its growing medium has dried out completely. Once established, this plant can also tolerate drought for short periods. Although it is not a tragedy if it happens to forget about watering your plant, keep in mind that it does best with regular moisture.
Have you fallen in love with Monkshood so much that you want to share it with some of your family members and friends? Or, maybe, you want more of these beauties just for yourself? Either way, you can make more Monkshood plants without spending extra money by propagating yours through seeds or division. These methods require no special experience in the gardening world, so you can get to work right away!
It is important to mention that starting your Monkshood from seed can be pretty tricky. In general, it is possible for some seeds not to sprout or to take more than a year to do so. Because of this, we suggest you collect and sow as many seeds as possible to increase your chances of success.
The seeds need to go through a chilling period to germinate, so make sure you sow them directly outdoors in late autumn. If some of the baby Monkshood plants are for your beloved ones, you can sow the seeds in pots. For great results, water the seeds once every week or so.
If you want to propagate your Monkshood through division, you will have to wait for your plant to become mature and well-established. Once the plant is about three years old, you can dig it out from the soil to divide its roots. Section the roots into two or three parts, replant each section in its permanent spot, then water them well to help them settle in their new home.
Because this plant does not enjoy transplanting, it may take a while to re-establish. The division is also a great method to keep your plant vigorous.
Now that you know more about growing Monkshood, you won’t have any trouble filling your garden with these beautiful flowers. The next step is to find out which cultivars meet all your secret expectations from a garden plant. No pressure, though! But once you decide, make sure you come back and share your pick with us!