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Aconitum napellus




around 120 cm

Flower colour

dark violet

Flowering time


Foliage colour

dark green


sun - partial shade


fertile, well drained, moist


acid - neutral - alkaline



Plant range

W- and Central-Europe

The genus Aconitum belongs to the family Ranunculaceae  and as with many other genera of that family Aconitums are poisonous. In fact most are so poisonous that one English common name is  "wolf's bane" and they were a popular way for  royalty of centuries past to get rid of their competition. Aconitums are hardy and can tolerate some shade, but too much shade can decrease flowering.  They prefer fertile, moist, yet well drained soil as most species are native to mountain meadows in the Northern hemisphere.


Division in spring.

Seed - needs cold stratification, best sown in September - November. 

Seed covered and stored at 20°C (68°F) for 2-4 weeks and then stored outside until germination. Germination can be slow and seed may germinate a year later. During the cold stratification period the temperature needs to be below -5°C (23°F) for at least 4-6 weeks. Optimum germination temperature is 5-12°C (40-55°F). 

A hardy perennial that has been grown in Icelandic gardens for decades. It is wind tolerant and doesn't need support. It was planted in rows like a hedge an many older gardens. It tolerates most soil types, but ideal conditions are fertile, humus-rich, well drained, moist soil. A highly toxic plant.

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