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Aconitum genus (Monkshood). This genus has around 100 species of perennials from temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. They have poisonous, tuberous or fibrous roots. They are usually upright but will sometimes grow in a rather scandant, or climbing manner. They bear hooded flowers in the summer.
Perennials or Biennials, Shrubs or Herbaceous
Mountainous grassland of N. Hemisphere.
The name Aconitum comes from the Greek 'akoniton' (Pliny) and Latin 'aconitum' (Virgil) for a poisonous herb. It possibly originates from the the Greek 'akon' - dart. The juice of the plant could be used for poisoning arrows.
Rock gardens and borders.
They are fully hardy and will prefer sun, but will tolerate some shade and this may enhance the flower colour. Best grown in moist fertile soil in cool conditions. Tall aconites may need staking.
Propagation is by division in the autumn, every 2-3 years or by seed in the autumn.
Fungal stem rot, Verticillium wilt and aphids may be a problem.
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