Time for another plant with a creepy sounding name from days of yore. I tend to buy plants off the "half dead" table at the local home center, so the labels are usually gone. What ever this thing was, the plant itself looked like a delphinium, but the flowers were different and it bloomed in the late fall. A couple of weeks ago it was the only thing left blooming out there, so I decided to throw the last of it into a scarf and see what happened.
While it was cooking away I plopped myself down in front of Google to see if I could figure out what it was. After not too much surfing, I discovered it was Monkshood. It is poisonous (of course) and thus the deer don't like it (good enough reason for it to stay in the yard) and it blooms in the late summer and fall which is also a selling feature for me. By the time we get to late summer everything else is cooked in the heat.
I used a smallish piece of silk crepe de chine with steel wool as the pre-mordant. The flowers did impart the smoky, blue/purple to the back ground, I suppose if I used enough of them it would dye the whole background that color, which could be nice. I did throw some of the leaves into other samples, but nothing came of it. At any rate, it was a nice experiment for the last blooming plant in my garden. Now there is a layer of snow out there and everything has gone to sleep for a long winter's nap.