Aconite flowers are an interesting flower that has medicinal as well as poisonous properties.
You can use this plant in your garden, but it’s important to know which types of aconite flowers you’re dealing with so you don’t accidentally poison yourself or your pets.
This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about the different types of aconite flowers and how to grow them without any risk of poisoning yourself or others.
1. Yellow Monkshood
These beautiful flowers are called Aconitum anthora, and they can be found around European mountains like the Alps or Carpathians. They grow in some northern parts of Asia as well.
They have yellow flowers, sometimes with a light green shade. The plant is very similar to other Aconitum plants that are called monkshoods. This variety of aconite flowers tends to grow near mountain ranges or woodlands from about 3,000 feet to 9,800 feet.
This plant’s scientific name is Aconitum amphora. It has been used in folk medicine for centuries as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent.
2. Carmichael’s Monkshood
Carmichael’s Monkshood is thought to be a hybrid of Aconitum anthora and another type of monkshood, possibly A. napellus.
Growing Carmichael’s Monkshood can take anywhere between two and five years before the plants are attractive enough to bloom.
That said, in areas like New Zealand where this flower exists naturally, it can grow as high as 3 feet tall! The plant has been used for many centuries in Chinese medicine due to its pain-relieving properties.
3. Western Monkshood
Western Monkshood is a large plant that grows in many areas of the Pacific Northwest. It gets its name from the white underside of its leaves, which looks like a hood when viewed from above.
Its flowers are purple with long spur-like stamens. This variety is believed to be native to Canada and the Northern United States according to experts at the Smithsonian Institute and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
4. Southeastern Monkshood
Southeastern Monk’s Hood comes from North America as well, where it can be found growing in drier woodlands or prairies in places within Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.
It has pinkish-white flowers with dark spots that have very long stamens. The leaves of this variety make a hood that is shorter than the Western Monkshoods.
5. Larkspur Leaf Monkshood
The Larkspur Leaf Monkshood is a perennial plant that likes to grow in dry flowerbeds as an ornamental garden plant. It has violet flowers with a dark spot of red at the base of each petal.
6. Fischer Monkshood
The Fischer Monkshood, or Aconitum Fischeri, is native to China and Japan. It grows on hills between 2,000 feet and 8,800 feet in elevation. It is a perennial plant that blooms from June until August!
This variety of monkshood produces white flowers with purple streaks. The leaves are green underneath and dark blue-green on top.
7. California Monkshood
California Monkshood , also known as Californian Monk’s Hood or Aconitum californicum, was named after the state it is found growing in—the state of California! This plant grows up to 6 feet tall in some areas of northern California like the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its flowers have purplish veining and bloom from June to August.
This plant is also native to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in North western Mexico . It grows at between 4,200 feet and 9,500 feet of elevation. The flowers are purple-blue with white veins on the undersides and some darker streaks on the tops.
8. Sparks Variety Monkshood
This variety of monkshood was truly named for its beautiful purple flowers that sparkle! In fact, the epithet “macranthum” means “large-flowered.” The plant is also sometimes called Perennial Monkshood.
Aconitum carpaticum grows in Eastern Europe between 3,000 feet and 4,600 feet elevation. It blooms from July to August. This flowering variety of monkshood has dark spots on its petals with a long spur-like stamen where yellow pollen can be found at the base of each flower.
9. Aconitum Coreanum
Aconitum Coreanum is a flowering variety of monkshood native to China and Japan. The plant grows in mountains between 500 feet and 2,300 feet in elevation.
It blooms from July until August with pinkish-purple flowers that have some dark streaks on the tops and white spots on the undersides.
10. Northern Wolfsbane
Northern Wolfsbane, also known as Aconitum lycoctonum or common Wolfsbane, is a flowering plant that grows in North America and Asia. It is native to the United States where it can be found growing at between 5,000 feet and 8,500 feet in elevation.
This variety of monkshood blooms from July until August with purple flowers that grow on an upright stem above large green leaves. The term “wolfsbane” comes from the fact that this variety of monkshood was commonly used by people who wanted to protect themselves against wolves during their journeys through mountain ranges like the Himalayas!
11. European Monkshood Flower
European Monkshood (aka Common Monkshood) can be found growing wild in Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia. It grows between 1,000 feet and 2,500 feet in elevation.
The flowers are red with purple spots on the upper petals and they grow above very large leaves! The plant is considered a perennial in some areas (depending on the climate) but an annual elsewhere.
12. Aconitum Napellus
Aconitum Napellus can be found growing in mountain regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. It grows at between 2,000 feet and 6,000 feet elevation.
This variety of monkshood has purple flowers with pinkish-purple veining on the tops of the petals. The plant is also known for having leaves that grow to 7 inches across! They are dark green on top and purple underneath with a white underside.
13. Garden Monkshood
Garden Monkshood , or Aconitum x cammarum, is native to the mountainous regions of central Europe. It is a perennial plant that blooms from July until August.
The flowers are reddish-purple on top and lighter near the base with dark purple veining and stamen and white spots at the bottom of each flower. This variety of monkshood grows between 2,000 feet and 4,500 feet in elevation.
14. Southern Blue Monkshood
Southern Blue Monkshood, also known as Aconitum ferox, is a flowering plant that grows in Asia and Europe. It can be found growing between 4,200 feet and 9,800 feet of elevation in mountainous regions.
The plants bloom from July until August with purple flowers that have dark blue spots on the top petals. These flowers grow on an upright stem above large green leaves. This variety of monkshood was one of the most poisonous varieties used by Native Americans for arrow poisons!
15. Eranthis or Winter Aconite
Eranthis is a flowering plant that is native to Northern Africa and Eurasia. It blooms from July to August with white flowers that grow on upright stems above large blue or grey-green leaves.
Eranthis is also commonly known as Winter Aconite because the flowers bloom in the winter, even though this variety of monkshood grows in climates where temperatures can drop below freezing.
What Are Aconite Flowers?
Aconite flowers, also known as Wolfsbane or Monkshood, are poisonous plants that grow in colder climate areas like North America, Europe, and Asia.
Monkshood is not just one variety of flowers but a classification for an entire family of flowering plants.
The term “monkshood” comes from the fact that these flowers were commonly worn by people attending religious ceremonies to ward off evil spirits!
Many different varieties of monkshood can be found growing throughout the world. The majority of them have blue or purple petals with white spots on their undersides. Others have red, pink, or white flowers with dark blotches on their tops. All varieties have stamen which produces pollen at the base of each flower. Aconite flowers grow on upright stems above large, green leaves.
Monkshood plants are commonly used in landscaping and gardens to add a colorful effect around the home during the early summer months when these varieties of flowers bloom!
Aconite flowers are named for their resemblance to hoods worn by monks (the hooded cowl, popular with Catholic monks, is a trapezoid shape). Monkshood was widely used as an herbal remedy well into the 20th century although it’s now banned for medicinal use due to its toxicity. These beautiful plants continue to be grown as ornamental plants and they also have some interesting uses today.
Monkshood Flower Uses & Benefits Today
These poisonous flowering plants were once used as a powerful herbal remedy but today they are used for very different purposes. Monkshood flowers and the rest of the Aconite family have been used throughout history and continue to be used in modern times as a poison, pesticide, or insecticide.
Many people who live in colder climates know that monkshood flowers are poisonous because these plants cannot survive warmer temperatures due to their high alkaloid content. They’re still grown in gardens and lawns across North America, Europe, and Asia though. If you look closely at some varieties of monkshood flowers, you might notice a white substance or powder coating some of the petals. This is a chemical that the monkshood plant produces as an insecticide.
Aconite flowers and other members of the Aconite family are commonly used for their poisonous effect. These plants contain very high concentrations of aconite poison in their nectar which is known to have a very toxic effect on mammals, including humans! In fact, one teaspoon of aconite poison can cause death! The majority of deaths caused by monkshood are intentional due to its powerful effects. It’s not uncommon for people who grow these varieties of flowers to add them to beverages or food items as a flavoring. All it takes is a small number of monkshood petals added to your favorite hot beverage (like tea) or sprinkled on top of your salad for you to feel the effects of aconite poison. The poisoning affects your nervous system by causing paralysis and can cause death within 6-24 hours if untreated!
Aconite flowers are named for their resemblance to monks’ hoods or cowls, which were worn by Catholic monks in the Middle Ages. Aconite was used as a treatment for pain and fevers during this period. It also has some other interesting uses that you might be surprised to learn about!
Pesticide & Insecticide
Monkshood plants produce an insecticide that is harmless to humans but deadly to insects like caterpillars. This chemical is spread throughout the plant so that any creature that tries to eat it will die from the lethal effects of aconite poison first. Monkshood plants also contain an insect pheromone that attracts other insects to feed on the plant which will then ingest the deadly chemical! These clever flowers are able to repel and kill potential invaders who would like nothing better than to snack on their leaves!
The properties found in monkshood flowers have medicinal and poisonous effects when ingested or applied to your skin, so it’s always important to use as directed by a professional herbalist. If you’re interested in growing monkshood flowers yourself, don’t give them to children or pets since they can be dangerous if eaten! Aconite poisonings are rare, but they do occur from time to time. It’s best not to take any risks with these highly toxic plants.
The Aconite flowers are a beautiful addition to your garden and can be used for many purposes. If you have any other questions about the different types of aconite plants, feel free to contact us at any time.