Botanical Name and Pronunciation:
Aconitum napellus (ak-o-NI-tum na-PEL-lus)
Monk's-Hood, Helmet Flower, Friar's-Cap, Turk’s Cap, Wolfsbane
dark blue, light blue, white, cream
Form and Size:
The leafy and tall stems of monkshood are spiky and have many small blooms that look like helmets or hoods.
7 – 10 days
April – October
Remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem, cut under water and place in fresh water with flower food. Handle with care, as this flower is poisonous.
History and Usage:
A member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, monkshood originated in China. Its popular name, monkshood, is a reference to the shape of the blooms on each stem. The blooms resemble a hood, or a monk’s hood. A common name, wolfsbane, is derived from its poisonous root, which was used as a bait to kill wolves.
Points of Interest:
Relatives of monkshood include delphinium, columbine, anemone and peony. Witches used this flower in medieval times as protection from werewolves. This idea originated from its use as a bait to kill wolves. Witches also thought this flower would give them the powers of flight and invisibility.