Aconitum napellus subsp. vulgaris



Habitat: sunny open position


Soil: any good garden soil


Height: 60 m


Flowering: summer


Width: 40 cm



The monkshoods are good perennials, slowly forming multi-stemmed plants. Some are tall species, and at the other extreme there are dwarf, high-altitude alpines. All have spikes of characteristic hooded flowers.

Aconitum napellus subsp. vulgaris was also known as Aconitum compactum, which tells us that the spikes of flowers are shorter than in other varieties of the species. It is also characterised by the linear leaf segments. In this case the flowers are violet to deep blue, although there is a white-flowered form ('Albidum') known.
9 cm pot £5.00

Aconitum - some other suggestions
invisible.gif Aconitum anthora is known as Wolfsbane, with interesting, pale yellow flowers in tall spikes over deeply cut foliage.
aconitum_napellus_bicolor.jpg Aconitum x cammarum 'Bicolor' is a striking form of a popular and reliable plant, with rich blue-and-white monkshood flowers. Ideal as a cut flower when grown in a sunny border, it also grows well in a woodland setting. It is widely used in cottage-style gardening. Would benefit from staking.
invisible.gif Aconitum carmichaelii Arendsii Group has spikes of large, blue, hooded flowers in summer. The glossy dark-green leaves are also attractive. It is ideal as a cut flower when grown in a sunny border, but it also grows well in a woodland setting.
aconitum_aff_volubile.jpg Aconitum hemsleyanum var. unguiculatum is one of the climbing species, making more stems each year. They climb up neighbouring shrubs and then produce their clusters of up to 10 large, deep purple-blue flowers, with the typical monkshood shape. This variety differs only in technical details from the parent species, and some botanists do not regard it as being distinct at all.
aconitum_piepunense.jpg Aconitum piepunense is extremely rare in cultivation, possibly never offered before we did. It is tall, with unusually loose, open spires of flowers, pale blue. The individual flowers are not large, and it is not a showy plant, but it is elegant. We were originally given a single seed, which turned into a plant that has grown in our garden for about ten years, and has at last produced sufficient seed to give a crop. Piepun is an ancient name for what was later known as Chungtien, then Zhongdian, and now (sadly) Shangri La.