Aconite, Monkshood, Wolfsbane, Aconitum excelsum.
Synonym: Aconitum septentrionale. Perennial herbaceous plant. The root is long, branched, formed by tightly fused cord-like lobes. The stem is from 65 to 250 cm (2-8 ft) in height, ribbed, pubescent. The leaves are up to 15 cm (5.9 in.) long and up to 25 cm (9.8 in.) wide, heart-shaped and kidney-shaped rounded, deep-fingered, fluffy, especially at the edges and on the underside. The inflorescence is a loose end brush at the base branched, with arched radiating stems. Flowers are dirty-or grayish-purple, irregular; the helmet is pubescent, cylindrical, with a spout; the lateral lobes of the perianth are ovate-rounded or slightly unequal, the lower lobes are unequal, pubescent on the outside.It grows in forests, their outskirts, high-grass and forest meadows, ravines, river banks; on the mountains it rises to the forest limit and is found there in subalpine, less often Alpine meadows.
The range of this species covers northern and central Europe, Central Asia, northern China, Mongolia, Siberia, and the European part of Russia.
Aconite is considered one of the main medicinal plants of Chinese and Tibetan medicine. In the practice of Eastern medicine, Fischer's Aconite (blue), Carmichael's Aconite and Kuznetsov's Aconite are mainly used. Tuberous roots of these plants are previously boiled in water for a long time before ingestion to reduce toxicity. In the scientific medicine of the Soviet Union, 2 types of Aconite were used - Aconitum soongaricum and Aconitum karakolicum, which grow in the mountains of Central Asia. Used a tincture of the herb Aconite, which was part of the drug "Акофит" recommended for radiculitis. In Siberia, local types of Aconite are used by folk medicine as an external remedy. More often, this plant is used as an insecticide, especially in the fight against cockroaches. Sometimes it is used as an external remedy in veterinary medicine for scabies and other parasitic diseases of the skin of animals. It should be remembered that all parts of the Aconite are highly poisonous and be careful.
It likes moist well-draining humusy soil, becoming drought-hardy after it has settled in a couple years. It adapts more readily than most monkshoods to imperfect conditions & can even succeed in clay, though not as happily.
It dislikes direct sun but with extra watering & some mulching protection for the root crown which hates to get sun-heated, it'll do fine. It's just overall an easy plant to grow, & ultra cold hardy.
Buds are attractive in June & fully open in July. The clump will spread, very slowly, to a foot & a half. Division is possible after three to five years, though frankly monkshoods don't like being dug up & it's better to plan for a permanent location for the eventually-giant clump, which rarely "tire" in the middle but just get bigger & more gorgeous each year.
Rising from a bushy clump of leaves are upright spikes with very-numerous narrow helmet-flowers. These spikes rise to three or even four feet & are not too prone to lodging, but may need staking.