Chivalry, beware, a deadly foe is near
Cool-toned, blue-colored hooded flowers borne on erect spikes reaching up to 4 feet tall are the hallmarks of monkshood, formally known as Aconitum napellus. A member of the Ranunculaceae family, monkshood is a cousin of the delphinium, a familiar garden flower. Monkshood is sometimes referred to as wolfsbane.
Availability and Vase Life
April through October.
Care and Handling
It is extremely toxic, so florists and consumers should wash their hands thoroughly after handling.
A strong line flower that works well in vertical arrangements.
Aconitum (known as aconite, monkshood, or wolfsbane) is a genus of flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). There are over 250 species of Aconitum.
These herbaceous perennials are chiefly natives of the mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere, growing in damp soils on mountain meadows. Their dark green leaves lack stipules. They are palmate or deeply palmately lobed with 5–7 segments. Each segment again is 3-lobed with coarse sharp teeth. The leaves have a spiral or alternate arrangement. The lower leaves have long petioles.
These are handsome plants, the tall, erect stem being crowned by racemes of large and eye-catching blue, purple, white, yellow or pink zygomorphic flowers with numerous stamens. They are distinguishable by having one of the five petaloid sepals (the posterior one), called the galea, in the form of a cylindrical helmet; hence the English name monkshood. There are 2–10 petals, in the form of nectaries. The two upper petals are large. They are placed under the hood of the calyx and are supported on long stalks. They have a hollow spur at their apex, containing the nectar. The other petals are small or lack completely. The 3–5 carpels are partially fused at the base.
The fruit is a follicle.