Aconitum, (also known as aconite, wolfsbane, monkshood, leopards bane, womens bane, devils helmut and blue rocket), is a genus of the buttercup family. Aconitum is a beautiful tall spike flower, similar looking to delphinium, with large hood shaped flowers. Because of the shape of the flowers, the English named it 'monkshood'.
The roots of aconitum are deadly poisonous and the Japanese have used it to poison arrow heads to hunt bear! The Chinese have used it for warefare and hunting. The word 'aconitum' comes from the word 'akone', meaning 'rocky' - this is the type of ground where aconitum naturally grows.
Aconitum is becoming more populsr for use in wedding flowers, especially when a 'country garden' theme is required.
In the wholesale flower markets aconitum is wholesaled in wraps of 10 stems. Stem lengths vary from 60cm to 100cm depending on the grade and variety.
General Availability Chart
Aconitum is a hollow stemmed flower, (just like delphinium, amaryliss, lupins and larkspur), and has to be conditioned in a specific way for best results:
- Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife.
- Remove the lower foliage.
- Fill sterilised buckets with luke warm water & add flower food.
- Turn the aconitum upside down & fill the hollow stems with luke warm water.
- Hold your thumb over the end of the stem to stop the water from escaping.
- Turn the aconitum over & plungle into the bucket of water.
- Leave to condition for at least 2 hours or over night.
Never leave cut flowers in direct sun light, near a radiator, in a draft or near fruit. (The gas used to ripen fruit will harm most flowers). Keep the aconitum in a cool place and always keep out of the way of children.