Aconite, also called monk’s hood or Jupiter’s helm, is a flower native to mountainous areas that offers a beautiful blue and sometimes yellow blooming.
Aconite key facts
Name – Aconitum napellus
Family – Ranunculaceae
Type – perennial
Height – 32 to 48 inches (80 to 120 cm)
Exposure – sun and part sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained
Flowering – May to October depending on the seasons
The floral scapes can grow to over 3 feet (1 meter) tall, which makes it an ideal plant to decorate the back of a flower bed.
Sowing and planting aconite
If you’re planting in spring, you’ll have to water regularly after planting.
- Aconite loves all types of soil and even poor, dry soil.
- Feel free to amend it when planting with fertilizer or compost.
- It loves emplacements that receive part sun and are lightly shaded.
- Avoid spots where the wind howls through, or else, simply stake the plant.
- Keep a distance of 16 inches (40 cm) between plants.
- Propagate aconites through crown division in in spring or fall.
- Sow seeds early in spring.
Care, pruning of an aconite
For aconites, cut back to the shortest in fall and possibly protect the base of the plant in colder areas.
- The tallest aconite varieties don’t stand to the wind well if not staked.
All there is to know about aconite
Also called wolf’s bane, this plant’s name comes from Latin aconitum which means poison.
But although this plant is poisonous, it is also a cute flower that bears distinctive long floral scapes that uphold beautiful blue or yellow flowers depending on the species.
Its great height, often taller than 3 feet (1 meter), makes it a good plant to settle at the back of a flower bed where it will produce an nice bushy backdrop.
It also makes for great bouquet flowers that will keep for a long time – even a bouquet of dried flowers!
Aconite and toxicity
Simply ingesting a little bit of the plant can lead to heart problems that can cause death.
The root, that looks like a turnip, is the most toxic part of the plant.
Aconite was used by hunters for poison on the tips of their spears and arrows, and more recently was used to get rid of wolves and foxes.
Smart tip about aconite
Cut a few aconite flowers off the bush in summer, and set them in a vase: you’ll be surprised at how long they last in such a bouquet!