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Aconitum Napellus & Tricyrtis Hirta

Common Name:  Monkshood, Larkspur, Wolfsbane

Planting Time: Fall

Height: 36-72 Inches

Spread: 12-18 Inches

Exposure: Part Sun - Full Shade

Soil: Cool, Rich, Moist, Well Drained Soil. If In Sun, Soil Must Stay Moist

Hardiness: Zone 3-5

Bloom Colour: Blue, Purple, Pink, Cream and Bicolor (White and Purple)

Foliage Colour: Dark Green, Glossy Leaves

Bloom Time: Late Summer to Well After First Few Frosts.


This cool weather perennial is an absolute must-have to those who want to get the longest bloom time
out of their garden. This tall and stately specimen is beautiful right from when it's glossy, dark leaves
emerge from the soil in spring, all the way until the frost forces it into dormancy. It is said that the word
Aconitum comes from the Greek word Akoniton which means DART. Ancient Chinese would use its'
sap to poison the tips of their arrows in battle. It would paralyze and slowly kill their victims. In telling this
little story, I guess it is fair to say that it is a poisonous plant. All parts of it from the seed, stem, leaves,
flowers and roots are extremely toxic if eaten. Napellus means LITTLE TURNIP, and is often mistaken for
the wild version and also a wild horseradish. I suggest you wear gloves to cut any part of this plant just to
be on the safe side. Touching the plant is fine, however, just don't eat it. Don't let this deter you from
enjoying all this specimen has to offer.

Preferring cool weather, this is great for shady areas that seem to stay moist all the time. Its' dark, foliage
is great for toning down a busy display in the foreground where it adds depth and mystery at the same time.
A perfect vertical for the back of a bed or filling a dark corner in your fall display beds. Deep shade will cause
some lankiness, which in turn will require some staking, but the blossoms will still be incredible. Whether
planted on its own, in a mass along a stream or in some dark corner of your garden, this will have you going
out to admire it night and day. Mainly known for its fall splendor there are some summer varieties that are
shorter and have an impressive, lengthy bloom period. With these varieties, if you cut it back to the ground
after flowering, it will produce another, smaller bloom for the fall.

Besides rich color, luxurious foliage, graceful height, low maintenance and incredible bloom time, what more
could you want from a plant? This is an absolute necessity for the 2008 garden. I guarantee that you will not be
able to stop at just one.


Common Name:  Toad Lily, Hairy Toad Lily

Planting Time: Spring or Fall

Height: 1.5-2 feet

Spread: 1-2 feet

Exposure: Part Sun - Full Shade

Soil: Cool, Rich, Moist, Well Drained Soil

Hardiness: Zone 4-8

Bloom Colour: White Spotted with Purple, White or Yellow

Foliage Colour: Dark Shiny Green, Variegated, Striped or Lime Green

Bloom Time: Mid-September to Late October

This exotic-looking beauty has been taking our gardens by storm in the last few years with many different
cultivars that are hardy to our Canadian climate. It is the ideal plant if you are looking for a late-blooming,
tropical shade specimen. Aside from deep watering during dry periods, this plant is little effort, which is
almost ironic how such a delicate bloom needs little to no care, not even a stake, which is perfect for the
busy gardener today.

Tricyrtis is perfect in any part of the garden that does not get full afternoon sun and will stay moist. Whether
on its own, a collection of different cultivars, in a mass, naturalizing or arching up out of a ground cover along
a path, one cannot help but to go up close to get a good look. Accessible viewing is really the only requirement.
Blooming late, it quenches the gardening thirst until the heavy frosts set in. Along with Monkshood, it is one of
the latest perennials to bloom in the garden and often is left until spring to be cut back. Blooming until the
absolute last possible moment before the cold takes its' toll and yet it still leaves you with a warm, tropical
feeling long after it is gone. This is absolutely the most appropriate way to say goodbye to the garden for the

Simply plant, admire and see you next year!


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