Friday, 2 July 2010

Thursday 1st July 2010

Aconitum, known as aconite, monkshood, monk's blood, wolfsbane, leopard's bane, women's bane, Devil's helmet or blue rocket, is a genus of flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). There are over 250 species of Aconitum.

Like other species in the genus, A. napellus - the Common Monkshood - contains several poisonous compounds, including enough cardiac poison that it was used on spears and arrows for hunting and battle in ancient times It has a long history of use as a poison, with cases going back thousands of years. During the ancient Roman period of European history the plant was often used to eliminate criminals and enemies, and by the end of the period it was banned and any one growing A. napellus could have been legally sentenced to death. Aconites have been used more recently in murder plots; they contain the Chemical alkaloids aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine and jesaconitine, which are highly toxic

1 comment:

  1. I've read about this plant in books but it strikes me now that I see your picture that I never actually knew what it looked like.


Comments are always welcome!