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Aconitum lycoctonum

Aconitum lycoctonum

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  • expected in August

syn. Aconitum vulparia

Wolfsbane, Monkshood, and Aconite are all common names for this beautiful, though highly toxic plant. A. lycotonum is a vigorous grower and bloomer. Glossy, dark palmate leaves are very attractive as are the spikes of pale yellow flowers.

Best grown in semi-shade in rich, fertile soil, but will tolerate other conditions. Tends to lean so plant it next to sturdier shrubs or perennials that can support its weight.

Fun Fact: Ancient Greeks used the roots of this plant to poison bait intended to kill wolves, leading to both the common and Latin names.

WARNING: All parts of this plant are extremely toxic.

Zones: 3 to 9

Family: Ranunculaceae

Type: Perennial

Height: 30 to 42 in.

Spread: 12 to 24 in.

Exposure: part-shade, shade

Soil Conditions: Average, humus rich, fertile, cool

Bloom Time: July to August

Bloom Color: Yellow

Native Range: E. Central & E. Europe


Image Credits:

Image 1 (blooms) H. Zell, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2 (form) Teun Spaans, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 3 (foliage) Salicyna, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 4 (native habit) Walter Starmühler, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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