NS8279 : Monk's-hood (an Aconitum species)

near to Milnquarter, Falkirk, Great Britain

Monk's-hood (an Aconitum species)
Monk's-hood (an Aconitum species)
This patch of Monk's-hood was growing in vegetation alongside the canal path.

[The native species of Monk's-hood is Aconitum napellus agg., the "agg." in the scientific name indicating that it is a "recording aggregate", the name given to a grouping of several subspecies that are difficult to distinguish in the field. Hybrid Monk's-hood, Aconitum cammarum, is also common, having spread from gardens and become naturalized in the wild; this is probably the species that is shown in the photo.]

According to "Flora Britannica" (Richard Mabey), Monk's-hood is "probably the most virulently poisonous of all British plants, yet its hooded, bonnet-like blue flowers have made it a favourite border plant"; the same work goes on to relate that "even skin contact can be dangerous. In 1993, there was an epidemic of poisoning at a florist's in Wiltshire: 'a flower seller was treated for heart palpitations in intensive care after handling bunches of a poisonous flower .... staff at a flower shop in Salisbury suffered shooting pains after poison from a monkshood entered their bloodstreams.'"

The plant contains several potent cardiac poisons, including aconitine. Other particularly poisonous but commonly encountered wild flowers include NS3976 : Hemlock Water-Dropwort and NS4984 : Foxglove.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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NS8279, 20 images   (more nearby )
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Image classification?
Supplemental image
Date Taken
June 2002   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 21 October, 2008
Geographical Context
Woodland, Forest 
Plant (from Tags)
Near (from Tags)
Forth and Clyde Canal 
Image Buckets ?
Closeup  Life 
Wild flowers   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 821 799 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:59.8674N 3:53.4876W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 821 799
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Poisonous Plant 

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