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 blooms it hoists in abundance on stalwart stems. An excellent cut flower, unique for its large draped sepal, Aconitum loves cool summer nights, moist, but not wet soil 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.
For this choice cut flower’s plentiful show of large, vivid azure-violet blooms embellishing tall spikes, and its vigorous stature, many gardeners consider ‘Arendsii’ to be among the best of the late-flowering Aconitums. Broadly segmented, deep green leaves have a lustrous, leathery quality. Plant Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’ nearby and enjoy a late summer splash of color.
Blooms July–early October
Size: 3-1/2' high x 18" wide.
Hardy to zone 4.
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