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Aconite is a hardy perennial plant belonging to the buttercup family (Rananculacaea).  It grows wild in parts of Europe, sometimes in large patches.  The plant has thick fleshy roots and tall stems (3-5 feet) covered with fern like leaves and blue blooms in the spring.  Aconite has medicinal uses, but should only be used with severe caution as the entire plant can be highly toxic.  Historically, aconite has been used as an antidote to poisoning, as a sedative and to treat fevers.  It is a lovely addition to the flower garden, but should never be planted with vegetables

Aconite can be started from seeds or by lifting and dividing the roots into smaller plants in the early spring or in the fall, but keep in mind that established plants resent being moved and may take a bit of time to recover after dividing.  Propagation by seed is a better method.  Seeds are sown in a soiless mixture in pots, trays or in a starting bed, then transplanted into the garden when they are about 2 inches in height.   The plants prefer deeply prepared soil, but are not particular whether they have a sunny or partially shaded location.  They do, however, require a great deal of water (well drained, not a soggy soil), so if choosing a sunny location, make sure that water is adequate. 

The plants are hardy to -10F (-23.3C)

Aconite Aconite
Aconitum napellus
Aconitum napellus Monkshood plant seeds
Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)  Lovely bright blue helmet-shaped flowers are borne on spikes in summer and early fall.   
#750  Packet $3.50   Approximately 30 seeds



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