Characteristics of aconite
- Type: Flower and flowering plant
- Height: from 30 to 60 cm, from 60 to 80 cm, from 80 cm to 1 m
- Flower colors: blue, white, cream
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: clay, limestone
- Foliage: spent
- Interview: easy to maintain
- sanitizer: no
- variety : Aconitum napellus, Aconitum carmichaelii, Aconitum anthora…
Origins and peculiarities of aconite
Theaconite, or Aconite in Latin, is a plant of the family Ranunculaceae. Native to Europe, the aconite plant grows mainly in the mountains, up to 1,800 meters above sea level.
There are more than a hundred species of aconites that are often found in the high mountains. The most famous variety is aconite napel. We can also cite the aconite kills wolf which generally grows near the aconite napel but also the aconite anthore, and many others. Also called monk hoods, the flowers of the aconite are usually blue, but there are species with yellow flowers.
The superb aconite flowers grow in generous clusters along their stem, and are perfect for garnishing borders, beds or thickets, but also in bouquets. They present a form of helmet which explains why this herbaceous plant is also known under the name of "helmet of Jupiter".
Be careful though: aconite flowers contain toxic alkaloids, including aconitine, which is a deadly poison for men but also for certain animals because it causes progressive paralysis of the body's vital systems. As all parts of the plant (especially the root) contain it, never handle an aconite without wearing gloves, and avoid planting it in a garden if you have young children or animals.
Uses of Aconite
Although aconite is dangerous for humans, the plant still finds a use in homeopathy to treat several pathologies like angina, hypertension, anxiety attacks, brutal fevers and many other ailments.
The aconite bulbs are to be planted in spring to see flowers appear between July and September. If you think of cutting the wilted flowers during flowering, you can even extend it until October.
Due to its origin, aconite is particularly resistant to cold and frost, and needs soil that is moist and deep enough to flourish. However, water should never stagnate in the soil that receives the aconite, as this would cause its roots to rot. The aconite should be planted in the sun or in a semi-shaded exposition, and its multiplication is done by division of the tubers in September, or in sowing in spring.
Again, when planting aconite, you have to be very careful with its roots, which are among the most toxic according to botanical specialists. Never put your fingers to your mouth after touching aconite flowers or roots that contain deadly poison.
Maintenance of aconite
The aconites are rather rustic plants which do not require too complicated maintenance:
- Optionally bring compost in the spring;
- Water the plant when the soil becomes too dry.
Diseases and pests of aconite
The aconit is a very resistant plant, both in cold and frost, but also in diseases! Indeed, it is only very rarely the target of diseases and does not have known parasites.
The only enemy of aconite in a garden is excessive humidity which could lead to an attack of mildew. But if the soil on which you plant your aconite is well drained, everything will be fine.