Aconitum napellus | Monks Hood | Wolfsbane
Aconitum napellus, Monkshood or Wolfsbane, is highly toxic and originates from western and central Europe, which means that the more northern areas of New Zealand are probably too warm for it to grow well. It is a herbaceous perennial (no woody stems) which grows to 1m tall by 30cm wide.
The flowers are dark purple to bluish-purple, and resemble the hoods that monks wear over their heads whilest praying, hence the common name. These plants are extremely poisonous in both ingestion and body contact, and it is imperative to wear gloves whilst handling and planting them. Some of us like to live a little dangerously in the garden, but safety is vital in this case! Once they're in the garden though, they don't like to be moved so it's a once and done plant.
Plant in full to part shade for best blooms. cut off flower stalks as they fade to encourage good plant health and blooms for the next season, add compost in spring to keep them happy, and if you're feeling brave, they make an excellent cut flower!
They bloom in mid to late summer, and en masse, they make an excellent show.
PB2 :: 1.2litre