Another surprise: monkshood

As the garden transitions into autumn, the grasses and foliage become more important, as there isn't too much in bloom right now. Certainly the things that have been blooming all summer are contributing: the maypop and cypress vines, Salvia greggii, Agastaches -- but there's really nothing that is just starting to bloom.


At least that's what I thought until I remembered that I have a couple of new plants this year, one of which seemed to pretty much just sit there all summer long, not doing much of anything. Until now, when it produced these wonderful blooms!

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I'm glad I left the plant tag in place with this one, because I'd never remember its name...


...although the common name of "Carmichael's Monkshood" is easy to remember once you see the blooms.

The foliage is nothing too special, but nice, and has held up through the summer very well:


I can see that there's plenty going on underground too, as the plant will produce at least three stems next year instead of the single one I'm enjoying now:


I didn't detect any fragrance, but that doesn't really matter this late in the season. The blooms are so pretty!


You can see how this plant got its common name (Monkshood):



I'm growing this in a dry, shady spot -- under the sugar maple that steals pretty much all of the water and nutrients from the soil. In one of the toughest spots in my garden, but this guy seems to be handling it very well. (Imagine that, I actually chose the right spot for a new plant!)


I did just read that this is quite a poisonous plant -- I wonder if that's the reason that it wasn't even nibbled by anything (deer and rabbits mainly)?


Does anybody else grow Aconitum?

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Emily Khan  – (October 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM)  

I used to grow Aconitum in my previous garden--interplanted with Acanthus and shade-tolerant grasses. It was planted in too much shade and was kind of floppy, but I liked it anyway. I've been roaming plant nurseries during the past couple of weeks looking for A. napellus to plant in my current garden.

Garden Fancy  – (October 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM)  

I have kids, who also have friends. No deadly poisons here, thanks. Yours look nice though.

Mark and Gaz  – (October 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM)  

Very nice! No aconitum here but the blooms also reminds me of impatiens.

danger garden  – (October 3, 2014 at 12:07 AM)  

I've never grown it but enjoyed watching the bees working it in a friend's garden recently. They'd get so far into the bloom all you could see were their little bee bottoms.

sandy lawrence –   – (October 3, 2014 at 8:32 AM)  

Lovely blooms. Just saw this used as the murder weapon on a tv mystery program.

Sabine  – (October 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM)  

Aconite is a flower from my childhood. My mother grew lots of it, we were under strict orders to not touch. But of course, we did.

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