The common Monkshood is a well known inhabitant of the garden. There are many species, all handsome perennial border flowers. They may be increased by parting the roots, which are of a tuberous character, every piece of which will grow. This should be done soon after they have done flowering; and the stalks should be cut down at the same time. They like shade and moisture. Most of them have blue flowers, but there are also white and yellow. The flowers grow in spikes, which, in some species, are two or three feet long. The family of Aconites have a bad reputation. The ancients, who were not acquainted with mineral poisons, regarded this plant as the most violent of all. The virulence of A. napellus (common Monkshood) should be known to all. The root is the most powerful part of the plant. An instance is on record, of five persons, at Antwerp, who ate of the root by mistake, and all died. Instances have occurred, of death by eating the young shoots in a salad instead of celery. This plant, when used with skill and caution, is in some cases a valuable medicine. This species flowers in July and August.
A. variegatum is a beautiful variety, throwing up branching spikes of flowers in July and August, three and four feet high; the flowers are light blue, edged with white.
A. japonicum has dark blue flowers, on spikes four and five feet high, during the month of July and August.
A. rostratum is a beautiful species, with purple flowers, three or four feet high - in July and August.