Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Wolfsbane

How appropriate that the fabulous flower featured close to Halloween should be wolfsbane (Aconitum uncinatum), also known as monkshood, a reference to the helmet-shaped upper perianth part (part of a petalloid calyx). These common names are applied generally to all the species, although some try to restrict wolfsbane to A. lycoctonum, a creamy flowered species of Europe. No question a plant as toxic as wolfsbane could keep werewolves at bay; this is not an edible plant, period. In terms of habit wolfsbane grows rather like a coarse larkspur, both being members of the buttercup family, but the wolfsbane prefers moist wooded areas, and so while the Phactor's estate has plenty of shade, things are a bit too dry for wolfsbane and it struggles in late summer. Nonetheless, wolfsbane/monkshood is a great addition to a perennial garden because its tough, generally trouble free, and best of all it flowers in October, the last of all our perennitals to bloom.


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akhenaten said... . A sad outcome probably due to this plant.

akhenaten said... -a sad outcome probably due to poisoning from this plant.

The Phytophactor said...

Why would a gardener ever ingest this plant? Physical contact isn't a danger, so I don't understand how this makes sense?