Aconitum 'Eleonara'
Common Name: monkshood
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White with blue edges
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils that are rich in organic matter. Soil should not be allowed to dry out. Needs cool summer nights below 70 F to grow well.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This monkshood cultivar is an erect, slender, tuberous-rooted perennial which features erect, terminal racemes of hooded, white flowers with blue edges atop rigid, leafed stems growing to 3' tall. Sepals and petals of each flower are similarly colored, with the upper sepal developing into a large, helmet-like structure which somewhat resembles the hood worn by medieval monks, thus giving rise to the common name of monkshood. Glossy, dark green leaves (somewhat similar to delphinium) are deeply incised in 5-7 toothed lobes. All parts of the plant (especially roots and seeds) are poisonous. The drug aconite was once made from the roots of monkshood (usually from A. napellus) and prescribed as a cardiac and respiratory sedative.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot, powdery mildew and verticillium wilt are occasional problems.

Garden Uses

An excellent plant for borders. Also appropriate for moist (but not wet) areas along streams or ponds. In light of the poisonous properties of this 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 edible tubers are growing.