This striking perennial can be found in the Woodland garden.
Containing approximately 100 species of perennials and biennials, the genus Aconitum is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). The genus is limited to the northern hemisphere, where it grows mainly in mountainous grassland or scrub. Aconitum vulparia (syn. A. lycoctonum ssp. vulparia) is a native of central and southern Europe. It has tuberous roots and can grow to 1.5m, though has an unruly habit, and will scramble through neighbouring plants if growing well in humus-rich, moist soils in partial shade. Prolific panicles of pale yellow, hooded flowers clothe the plant in summer to hide the glossy, lobed leaves. A highly toxic genus, Aconitum takes its name from the Greek ‘ak’ meaning sharp, and ‘kônos’ meaning cone, in reference to the arrows used to poison wolves, with the synonymous name lycoctonum meaning wolf, hence the common name wolf’s bane.