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Aconitum napellus - L.

Common Name Aconite, Venus' chariot, Wolfsbane Garden, Monk's Hood Garden
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 3-8
Known Hazards The whole plant is highly toxic, acting especially on the nerve centres. At first it stimulates the central and peripheral nervous system and then paralyzes it. Other symptoms of poisoning include a burning sensation on the tongue, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhoea. Simple skin contact with the plant has caused numbness in some people[4, 7, 9, 10, 14, 19, 65, 76, 244]. The root contains 90% more poison than the leaves[232].
Habitats Damp shady places and moist rich meadows in southern Wales and south-western England[7, 13, 31, 165, 176]. It is usually found in calcareous soils[9].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, east to N. W. Asia and the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Aconitum napellus Aconite, Venus


Aconitum napellus Aconite, Venus
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Summary

Bloom Color: Blue. Main Bloom Time: Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Irregular or sprawling, Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Aconitum napellus is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf from February to October, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Some reports suggest the root is edible if cooked[2, 177], but these should be treated with extreme caution due to the highly toxic nature of the plant[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Anodyne  Antirheumatic  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Homeopathy  Irritant  
Sedative

Aconite has been used since ancient times, especially as an antidote to poisoning[244]. Since the entire plant is itself very toxic, however, any use should be under the guidance of a skilled practitioner[4]. All parts of the plant are used medicinally. The root is the most important and this is harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn and is dried before use[4]. The other parts of the plant are less important and are used fresh, being harvested when the plant is coming into flower[4]. The root is analgesic, anodyne, antirheumatic, diaphoretic, diuretic, irritant and sedative[4, 7, 9, 165, 200]. Due to its poisonous nature, it is not normally used internally though it has been used in the treatment of fevers[200]. Externally, it is applied to unbroken skin in the treatment of rheumatism, painful bruises, neuralgia etc[200, 254]. All parts of the plant, except the root, are harvested when the plant is in flower and used to make a homeopathic medicine[232]. This is analgesic and sedative and is used especially in the treatment of fevers, inflammation, bronchitis, neuralgia etc[9, 232].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Woodland garden. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade[200]. Plants only thrive in a sunny position if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season[238]. Prefers a calcareous soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.5. Plants take 2 - 3 years to flower when grown from seed[244]. Grows well in open woodlands[1, 4]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[244]. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer[233]. Although the plant is a perennial, individual roots only live for one year and die after flowering. Each root produces a number of 'daughter' roots before it dies and these can be used for propagating the plant[4]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes[54]. An aggregate species which is divided by some botanists into many species[17, 76]. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[111]. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate[133]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division - best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn[1, 111]. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year[233].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Aconitum balfourii Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum carmichaeliiJapanese Aconite, Carmichael's monkshoodPerennial1.5 3-7  LMHSNM02 
Aconitum chasmanthum Perennial0.5 -  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum chinense Perennial1.2 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum columbianumColumbian monkshoodPerennial0.2 0-0  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum delphinifolium Perennial0.2 -  LMHFSM01 
Aconitum dienorrhizum Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum feroxIndian aconitePerennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum fischeriFischer monkshoodPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum gammiei Perennial0.6 -  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum hemsleyanum Perennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum heterophyllum Perennial1.5 5-9  LMHSNM12 
Aconitum japonicum Perennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNM02 
Aconitum koreanumKorean Monk's HoodPerennial1.5 -  LMHSNM10 
Aconitum kusnezoffiiBei Wu TouPerennial1.5 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum lycoctonumWolfsbanePerennial1.0 3-7  LMHSNM11 
Aconitum lycoctonum vulpariaWolfbanePerennial1.0 3-7  LMHSNM11 
Aconitum maximumKamchatka aconitePerennial0.2 0-0  LMHSNM00 
Aconitum mokchangense  0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Aconitum multifidum Perennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNM10 
Aconitum orientale Perennial1.5 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum palmatum Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum rotundifolium Perennial0.5 -  LMHSNM10 
Aconitum septentrionale Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Aconitum uncinatumWild Monkshood, Southern blue monkshoodPerennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Aconitum violaceum Perennial0.0 5-9  LMHSNM11 
Aconitum volubile Perennial Climber2.0 -  LMHSNM11 

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Marinella Zepigi Pessina   Sun Oct 29 2006

Il Forum dei Funghi e Fiori in Italia - Micologia e Botanica scheda

ikram ul haq   Thu Nov 20 2008

a very good task from u.we both the friends faheem and ikram appreciated u.

ethnoplants   Tue Nov 25 2008

hello! there are a fresh seeds in ethnoplants thank's you

ethnoplants Aconitum napellus seeds

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