SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aconitum napellus
COMMON NAME(S): Monk's hood
FAMILY: RANUNCULACEAE - Buttercup family
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes; other species in woodlands and moist areas
HEIGHT: Usually less than 4'
CHARACTERISTICS: Stems erect or scrambling, often very leafy
LEAVES: Leaves in whorl at base or alternate if arranged along stem, simple; oval shaped, often heart-shaped at base, divided into 3-7 lobes, additionally lobed or toothed
FLOWERS: Showy, arranged on a branched or unbranched, erect stem, usually blue, hood-like
FLOWERING SEASON: Summer, fall
FRUITS: Group of 3-5 capsule-like structures
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Aconotine and other alkaloids
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: There are about 100 species in the genus, mostly Old World in origin although a few are native to cooler parts of the United States. Many hybrids are cultivated. The plants are deadly if ingested, but gardeners have also developed dermatitis from handling them.