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Aconitum plants and species

Aconitum or Monkshood Flower

Aconitum are commonly called Aconites, Wolfesbane and Monkshood all the same thing, except it is better to differentiate by using the species name as they are very different palnts in some ways.

Aconitum napellus and aconitum carmichaelii which are the two most popular species are readily available for sale from online nurseries.

Aconitum napellus is the common ‘Monkshood’ and is put forward as being one of the most poisonous plants of all.

As with many plants this is true, however it has a terrible taste and would be very difficult to eat by mistake. It does have sap that is poisonous as well, a strong irritant to the skin. So at all times handle these plants with care.

A perennial plant that grows well in a humus rich fertile soil, Aconitum or 'Monkshood' is a great addition to the garden border (see picture right). Remember that these can be tall growing reaching around 5ft (1.8m) so planting near the back of the garden border is best.

Aconitum Varieties

Aconitum 'Bressingham Spire' , Aconitum carmichaelii 'Wilsonii' and Aconitum 'Blue Sceptre' are all popular cultivars.

  • Aconitum x cammarum 'Stainless Steel' which has lighter steely blue flowers a great variation.
  • Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii' which is a late flowering plant.
  • Aconitum septentrionale 'Ivorine' is a lower growing cultivar with creamy white flowers .
  • Aconitum 'Blue Lagoon' is even smaller.
  • Aconitum vulparia is the 'yellow wolfsbane' difficult to find in cultivation


Very easy by division of established clumps, best divided in spring. Also easy by seed.


Where to buy

DIGGING DOG NURSERY - phone (707) 937-1130
PO Box 471 Albion CA 95410
A spectacular selection of hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and vines for your garden. Includes: aconitum carmichaelli, aconitum fischeri, aconitum cammarum.