Don’t walk by. This plant deserves closer attention. Stop and admire the design of the flowers on Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’. Well deserving of the common name “Monkshood” the hood or hat is a prominent feature. If the hood of the calyx is pulled back on its hinge the true petals are revealed. The petals, resembling spurs on long stalks, are also the nectar stores. Usually only two develop with others remaining small and underdeveloped.

The basal sepals have a white centre enclosing stubby stamens and stigmas. Well ordered to the naked eye, put these under a x8 hand lens and see the dashing mad directions they lie in.

This really is a fascinating plant to grow in a border providing late season colour with the terminal spires of violet blue flowers. If stressed through drought the lower leaves are shed. Reaching a height of 1.5m its strong stems preclude any need for support.

Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii'

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’

Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii' - showing flower parts

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’ – showing flower parts