(Aconitum Napellus ‘Monkshood’)
Monkshood is a tuberous-rooted perennial herb that is native to Europe that can be commonly found growing on hill tops and mountain sides, in moist meadows and forests, and along road sides and stream banks throughout the northeastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 2-4' and features rigid, stems, deeply divided, dark green, toothed leaves, and dark purplish-blue flowers. This plant can be grown in containers, attracts bees and butterflies, is resistant to deer and rabbits, has medicinal properties, and is great as a cut flower!
Also Known As: Wolfsbane, Aconitum, Helmet Flower.
Native to: Great Britain.
Introduced into: Myanmar, New York, Vermont.
Ease of Growing: Moderate
Grown as: Perennial
Maturity (Blooms): July to August
Light: Full sun to part shade. The plants can handle both full sun and partial shade, however they prefer somewhat moist soil. If you are growing them in a hot, dry area, definitely give them a spot with some shade, especially in the afternoon. When grown in shade, you will probably need to stake the plants.
Soil Moisture: Medium
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes. The flowers attract bees and butterflies.
Containers: Containers are an excellent choice for this variety.
Sow Depth: 1/8"
USDA Zone: 3-8
Produces: rigid, stems, deeply divided, dark green, toothed leaves, and dark purplish-blue flowers.
Garden Uses: Best grown in moist woodland areas, along streams or ponds, or on the periphery of bog or water gardens. Will grow in borders as long as the soil moisture requirements can be met. Because of the poisonous properties of the plant, it probably should not be grown in areas where small children might come in contact with it or in areas contiguous to vegetable gardens where tubers are growing.
Warning: All members of the genus Aconitum, monkshood included, are poisonous. In fact, wolfsbane, its other common name, came about from using the ground root of perennial monkshood in meaty bait to kill the once hated animals. It should never be grown within reach of children or pets and all parts of the plant are toxic, including the sap, so appreciate its beauty in the garden and not as a cut flower. To prevent absorption through the skin, wear gloves when you are gardening around monkshood. In the case of the monkshood plant, beauty comes with a price. Please be careful.
Fertilizer: Feeding always depends on the quality of your soil. Definitely start with a rich soil, high in organic matter. Side dress with compost and some organic fertilizer each spring.
Maintenance: Monkshood are very low maintenance plants. Since these are late season bloomers and they do not repeat bloom, you won’t really need to deadhead.
The plants will die back to the ground at frost. I don’t cut mine back until spring.
(Echinacea purpurea ‘Purple’)
Purple Coneflower is a native perennial flower that is commonly found growing in moist meadows, woods, and prairies throughout the central and eastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 2-4' and features stiff stems, narrow hairy leaves, and 3-4” flower heads with drooping purplish pink petals and a spiny orange center cone. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, provides bird forage, tolerates drought and frost, has medicinal uses, is resistant to deer, and is great as a cut flower!