Growing Guide
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Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Also known as Helmet Flower, Friar’s Helmet,Wolfsbane, Wolf’s Bane
Aconitum napellus
Ranunculaceae Family

So-named because its flowers resemble the cowls of monks' habits, Monkshood brings showy spikes of attractive purple-blue flowers to the shady parts of your garden.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Prefers part shade but tolerates full sun.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
Prefers soil that is kept moist but not soggy.

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 8
Reportedly hardy to Zone 3 and even Zone 2.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Needs good soil preparation. May be slow to establish.

Height: 3 to 5 feet

Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet

Bloom time:

  • late summer
  • early fall

Flower color:

  • blue
  • violet

Flowers are dark purple-blue.

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers are borne loosely along erect stems that rise above the foliage.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - China
Special uses:
  • cut flowers
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Carefully prepare soil before planting, adding lots of organic matter. Plan where you want Monkshood carefully, because plants don't like to be transplanted and are slow to establish. (The roots are brittle.) Plant roots or divide plants in fall or spring.
Sow seed outdoors in fall, early winter or early spring. Seed is slow to germinate, sometimes taking 1 to 2 years.

Fourlined plant bug
Larkspur leafminer
Bacterial leaf spot
Verticillium wilt
‘Albus’ has pure white flowers on 3’ to 4’ tall plants.

‘Newry Blue’ has very deep blue flowers.

`Blue Sceptre’ has blue and white flowers.

‘Rubellum’ has pink flowers on plants with very finely incised leaves.