Stainless Steel Monkshood
Aconitum x cammarum 'Stainless Steel'
Plant Height: 30 inches
Flower Height: 4 feet
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: Wolfsbane
This showy perennial is popular for its remarkable metallic-blue spikes of flowers and attractive glossy green leaves; prefers to be planted in part-shade locations; Stainless Steel is compact and sturdy enough that it should not require staking
Stainless Steel Monkshood features bold spikes of silvery blue hooded flowers with creamy white overtones rising above the foliage from early to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive deeply cut ferny leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season.
Stainless Steel Monkshood is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Stainless Steel Monkshood is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Stainless Steel Monkshood will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Stainless Steel Monkshood is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.