Aconitum fischeri
By James Nugent Fitch (1840-1927) ‘Public domain’, via Wikimedia Commons

Aconitum

Monkshood

First cultivated in the mid-1500s, Aconitum derivatives were used as both a medicine and a poison, and an unwanted husband might have easily met his end while drinking his dear wife’s tonic. Simply Medieval! Leaves, stems and roots are poisonous, but the stately Aconitum still deserves a place in our gardens because of the unusual late season blooms it hoists in masses on stalwart stems.

An excellent cut flower, unique for its large, draped sepal, Aconitum loves moist, but not wet soils, cool summer nights, and protection from the heat of the day. Perfect in the border or at woodland’s edge, their bold presence makes an engaging companion to Anemone, Helenium and late blooming Persicaria.

<i>Aconitum fischeri</i>

This commanding Chinese denizen has a lot to offer: unyielding medium-sized stature that never needs staking, gleaming verdant foliage and crystal clear late season bloom. Garnishing stiff dark blue-violet spires, the hood-shaped flowers surmount ramrod straight stems wrapped in triclefted green leaves, each further carved by stylish lobes and toothed edges. Aconitum fischeri�s dignified persona is ideal, either for a midborder position flanked withMuhlenbergia r. Undaunted.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Fantastic Fall Foliage.... The arresting foliage of these easy-care, low growing perennials remains tidy well into November. Adequate water, mulch and a mid-season trim help ensure their staying power.

November's last hurrah.... The shorter days and cooler nights of November have set the garden ablaze with eye-catching foliar color. By planting an assortment of woody plants as well as herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses, which promote late season allure, a last hurrah is easily achieved. Each of the plants included in this newsletter bestow either plump berries, late blooms, compelling foliage or artful branching patterns. Happy Digging!

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