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How can you not fall in love with a perennial that has regal blue spires? And monkshood is that plant. Relatively unknown, it deserves a lot more attention. It produces tall spikes of hooded purple, blue, white, or bicolor blooms in late summer to fall. When not in bloom, its mounds of coarsely lobed foliage look great, too.
Plants grow best in partial shade, although in cool climates they will grow well in full sun. In dense shade, plants will become floppy. All parts of monkhood are poisonous.
Monkshood dislikes hot weather, so it's usually not a great choice for gardeners in hot-summer climates.
Astilbe blooms earlier in the summer than monkshood. Both appreciate moist soil in partial shade. Pairing the two extends the season for color interest.Hosta
Flowers of monkshood rise above the foliage of hosta, creating a striking combination when interplanted. Deadhead faded hosta blooms to prevent them from distracting from the monkshood blooms.Toad lily
The purple-speckled blooms of toad lily peak at the same time as late-blooming monkshood varieties. Both grow well in moist partial shade.