Monkshood or wolfsbane, Aconitum napellus

Aconitum napellus

Monkshood

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Aconitum napellus
  • Common name: Monkshood
  • Family: Ranunculaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous
Flower colour:

Blue

Purple

Foliage colour:

Green

Aconitum napellus – also known as monkshood, wolfsbane and aconite – is plant steeped in lore because of the toxin, aconitine, it contains. It’s a beautiful herbaceous perennial with finely divided leaves similar to those of delphiniums, to which it’s related. It bears deep purple-blue flowers held on spires a metre or so in height and enjoys growing in cool, moist soil. It usually flowers in June and July.

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For best results, grow Aconitum napellus in full sun or partial shade, in moist, well-drained soil. Light soils should be improved with lots of well-rotted organic matter before planting.

How to grow Aconitum napellus

  • Plant size

    1.2m height

    50cm spread

  • Aspect

    East facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Middle

  • Sun exposure: Full sun, dappled shade, partial shade
  • Shade type: Damp
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist / acidic

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do not Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do Sow in November

Do Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Divide
Divide

Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do not Divide in March

Do not Divide in April

Do not Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do Divide in September

Do Divide in October

Do Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Aconitum napellus and wildlife

Aconitum napellus is known for attracting bees. It nectar-pollen-rich-flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Does not attract Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Aconitum napellus poisonous?

Aconitum napellus irritates skin, is harmful if ingested, causes an upset stomach and toxins are absorbed by the skin. Its fruit, pollen, seeds, roots, seed capsules, foliage and sap are toxic.

Toxic to:

Toxic to Cats

Toxic to Dogs

Toxic to Horses

Toxic to Livestock

Toxic to People

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

Plants that go well with Aconitum napellus