Azure Monkshood Brings Deep Color to Early Fall

azure monkshoodVirtues: Azure monkshood blooms from late summer through early fall, with distinctive purple-blue flowers atop its tall stems. It is a dramatic plant that adds color and verticality to the garden alongside shorter fall favorites like mums and asters.

Common name: Azure monkshood

Botanical name: Aconitum fischeri

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Season: Late summer to early fall, for flowers

Flowers: Hood-like bluish-purple flowers line the tops of thin but sturdy stems from late summer through early fall. The shape of the flower gives this plants the common name monkshood.

Foliage: The dark green leaves are deeply cut into three parts and toothed at the edges.

Habit: Azure monkshood is an herbaceous perennial that reaches to 24 to 36 inches tall and about 12 to 18 inches wide. It has an upright shape that contrasts well with mounded perennials. It does not need staking.

Origins: China

How to grow azure monkshood: Site this perennial in full sun to part shade, in moist, fertile soil with good drainage. The more sun that it receives, the more water it will need. Like other Aconite species, this plant is poisonous to ingest, making it highly pest resistant but also an unsafe plant for mixed edible-ornamental gardens or sites frequented by young children. You may wish to wear gloves when handling the plant to avoid skin irritation. USDA Zones 4–8.

Image credit: Walters Gardens

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