Monkshood (Aconitum napellas) (Aconite, Wolfsbane)
These herbaceous perennial plants are chiefly natives of the mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere, growing in moisture retentive but well draining soils on mountain meadows. One of the major drugs of antiquity, bright purple, with hood-shaped flowers protecting profusely productive nectaries. Absolutely stunning.
Toxicity: The entire plant, including root, herb and seed, is toxic if taken in sufficient dosage. Marked symptoms may appear almost immediately, usually not later than one hour, and "with death occurring instantly with a large enough dose." Death usually, otherwise, occurs within 2 to 6 hours in fatal poisoning (20 to 40 mL of tincture may prove fatal). The initial signs are gastrointestinal including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. There is followed by a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth and face, and of burning in the abdomen. In severe poisonings pronounced motor weakness occurs and cutaneous sensations of tingling and numbness spread to the limbs. The main causes of death usually are paralysis of the heart or of the respiratory center. The only post-mortem signs are those of asphyxia. Treatment of poisoning is mainly supportive. All patients require close monitoring of blood pressure and cardiac rhythm. Poisoning may occur following picking the leaves without wearing gloves; the aconitine toxin is absorbed easily through the skin. In this event, there will be no gastrointestinal effects. Tingling will start at the point of absorption and extend up the arm to the shoulder, after which the heart will start to be affected. The tingling will be followed by unpleasant numbness. Treatment is similar to poisoning caused by oral ingestion.
Cultivation Information: Plant prefers part to full shade and evenly moist soils. Sow the seeds in the fall for germination in the spring. Sounds difficult I know but relatively trustworthy germinator. We do recognize the requirement for fresh seed and therefore replace with the new harvest yearly.
50 seeds/pkt. Open pollinated