Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc. Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Aconitum napellus


A welcome plant in the perennial border, monkshood sends up striking, upright spikes of violet-blue flowers from mid to late summer when few other blue flowers are in bloom. Each individual flower measures 1-2 in. long and is shaped like a little helmet or hood, thus the common name Monkshood.

The distinctive, deeply divided, dark green, glossy foliage provides interest when the plant is not in bloom. It is rarely bothered by pests or diseases.

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36-48 In


18-24 In

Hardiness Zone:

4 - 8

Monkshood Growing and Maintenance Tips

Aconitum prefers to be grown in partial shade but will tolerate full sun if plenty of moisture is available. Dry soil leads to stunting. The soil should also be amended with generous amounts of compost and peat moss to give it a slight acidity. They are slow to increase and won't need to be divided often. However, plants may be divided in spring or fall.

Aconitums are highly resistant to diseases and pests, partially because they are very poisonous. USE CAUTION when handling this plant and wear gloves. Do not plant it near vegetable gardens or where small children play. Ingestion of any part of the plant may prove fatal.

Aconitum napellus Characteristics


  • Border
  • Cut Flower / or Foliage

Critter Resistance

  • Deer Resistant
  • Rabbit Resistant


  • Sun Tolerant
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Summer
  • Summer

Soil Moisture Needs

  • Average