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Genus of deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen shrubs, grown for their foliage as well as the freely borne flowers. Fully to half hardy, but in some cold areas will do best given the shelter of a west or south facing wall. Likes a sunny, fertile and well drained situation.

Propagation is by means of softwood cuttings taken in summer. Pruning consists of removing dead and older branches after flowering to restrict growth and maintain shape.  


A family of mainly upright perennials some of which are semi-evergreen, suitable for rock gardens and borders. Has fern like foliage and large, usually plate like flower heads during the summer. These are fully hardy and will tolerate any sunny well drained position, as the height of some varieties is 24 inches some staking will be required.

The simplest method of propagation is by division in autumn, new varieties can be raised from seed sown in the spring but will not flower until the second year.


Also called Wolf's Bane or Monkshood due to the shape of the flower. A family of poisonous perennials with either tuberous or fibrous roots and upright stems bearing hooded flowers in summer. Fully hardy and will tolerate some shade which may enhance the colour of the blue varieties, other colours include white, yellow and lilac with heights from 18 inches to 8 feet.

Propagation is either by division in autumn or by sowing fresh seed straight from the plant as soon as it is ripe, do not leave sowing till the spring