The monkshoods prefer a rich and fertile soil, with reasonable moisture. If too dry, the foliage may shrivel, spoiling the overall effect. Best sited in some dappled shade to help with this and to grow amongst other plants, encourage them to stay upright. Good autumn flowering, with colours ranging from deep purple, to slate grey. Some red forms have now been developed. Common names such as wolf's bane, leopard's bane indicate a use in medicines and for poisons. Caution, toxic if eaten. Wear gloves when working with these plants.