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Monday, August 24, 2009

Monkshood (for Mary)


Today I am participating in Blue Monday...and sending out information on a plant from my garden. Thanks to Sally....over at Smiling Sally for hosting this meme...click her logo to visit more Blue Monday posts.


Monkshood...also known commonly as wolfsbane, leopard's bane, women's bane, Devil's helmet or blue rocket. I prefer to just go with the monkshood! lol
This plant is often used as an alternative to Delphinium and the beautiful blooms resemble the hoods that monks wear...hence the common name! The proper name is Aconitum.
There are over 250 different species of this plant, but I have only seen this one. It will grow in full sun to partial shade...but if given too much shade the flowers get weak and tend to flop. About 6 hours of sunlight is about the right amount for this plant.
Here in Alberta, Monkshood is a perennial. If a plant can survive this climate...lol...it can more than likely survive anywhere!!!
I have read that if you wait for the first blooms to fade, and cut the plant back before it sets seed, it will bloom again. Now in this garden...I don't tend to do this...as our growing season is so short, but if your season is longer this is a great way to have a longer blooming period. I allow mine to set seed. I have never tried to start them from seed, instead I divide my plant. I just used a garden fork and cut it in half...and then in half again, potted up the ones I removed...and gave them away to another gardener!
I feel that I should mention...that Monkshood is considered a highly toxic poisonous plant. Do not eat any part of the plant or the seeds. Mine is in the front yard...as I have a dog that loves to "smell and snack"on many of my plants! We almost lost her two years ago to Heliotrope and Lantana snacking!
The side effects of eating this plant will include: burning of the mouth and throat, confusion, dizziness, headaches and vomiting. In severe poisoning, breathing difficulty, then paralysis, are followed by convulsions and Death from asphyxiation and circulatory failure. However, most victims do recover within 24 hours.
(poison information found in the poisonous plants directory online)
Well that's all I have for you for today. Will you be adding Monkshood to your garden?

37 comments:

prof en retraite said...

Hi Tootsie! First, I am so glad to hear that your dad is doing better! And I have to add that I love the new kitty assistant! lol I have never heard of Monkshood. It is very pretty! Hmmm...I will have to think carefully about adding it since my staff chews on green things the second they hit the yard! But...I do have lantana and didn't know it was also dangerous! Time for doing some googling! Thanks! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

Queenmothermamaw said...

I don't think I have ever seen that plant in our regular greenhouses. I could ask. I don't hardly have enough room for any more plants, but I do like that.
qMM

Mocha Momma said...

I love that pretty Monkshood. Thanks for showing me part of your lovely garden.
Take care,
Nannette

Valerie said...

I have never heard of this plant. Thanks for sharing this. By the way, I love what you say in your heading. I need to learn to do more dancing in the rain. Thanks for the reminder. Do you mind if I use that in my sidebar as a reminder to myself?

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Tootsie thank you for the information on this great plant for moi!! Poisonous or not I am going to try and grow it next year! I cannot get over the gorgeous vivid blue!! Simply beautiful!!!

How is your dad doing these past few days?

blessings
mary

Barb said...

Beautiful!!

blessings,
Barbara jean

artis1111 said...

Hi hon, I love the color of this one. I know about pets eating things. I had one of mine sick last week. LOL Kathy

Sue said...

Hi Tootsie! Wow-flashy color-I like it! I've always wanted to try Monkshood, but because its' sooo pretty, I thought it might be difficult. I'm going to give it a shot, though, next year. It will go with the new roof!--LOL

Darla said...

Do you think it's too hot here for it? I would love to have some...beautiful! I'll have to see if I can find some seeds.

Barbara said...

Morning Tootsie, I have never seen Monkshood or if I did, I didn't know what it was. It is beautiful, but I doubt it would grow in our Texas heat. A lot of my plants are dying, but I can come to your house and enjoy yours.

Happy Blue Monday.
Barbara

Becky K. said...

Hmmm...I do love blue plants but both doggies like to chew around the gardens. Maybe I'll have to take a pass on this one and enjoy it at your blog and other gardens.

Becky K.

Cindy said...

Beautiful! Nice post.
Cindy

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Beautiful plant (shrub)!!!

SmilingSally said...

No, not to my garden. I wouldn't want little children or dogs to get sick, but perhaps it'd grow nicely in a pot on the patio. What do you think? Thanks for sharing your blues. Happy Blue Monday.

bj said...

Hi, Tootsie..my, what beautiful flowers you grow. These are so pretty.
I've been gone awhile and didn't realize your daddy is ill. I hope he is so much better by now.
hugs, bj

RainGardener said...

What a beautiful plant. But I'm sure yours is about 5 times bigger than the normal size! hehehe I didn't realize Heliotrope was poisonous either.
Great choice for Blue Monday.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Tootsie, I don't believe I've ever seen this plant. I love the vivid color. What a show stopper it is.. Thanks for all the info..hope to look for some in our area come spring..hugs ~lynne~

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

It looks like another wonderful flower to add to my ever growing list. I love the blue flowers of it.

"Blossom" said...

Never heard of this plant Tootsie, but I love the color and this one is beautiful. Kids, back in school yet?

Mary said...

Your monkshood is just beautiful, but what I really loved is the information you gave us regarding the plant. I'm glad to hear your dog recovered from her snack attack. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Sarah said...

The monkshood is lovely. It's a new plant to me. I'll have to see if I can find it locally. Thanks for sharing this lovely Blue Monday post! Hope to see you at
my place for a Blue Rooster Monday. ~ Hyacinth

http://hyacinthforthesoul.blogspot.com/

squawmama said...

Beautiful flower Tootsie... Too bad it is so deadly but a lot of plants and flowers are... Good to know! Have a wonderful day. ☺

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Libby Murphy said...

What a deep gorgeous color. I think I'll try growing some myself. You are so smart and so kind to help all of us with our gardens.
Happy Twirls

Bonnie said...

Something to add to my 2010 wishlist. I love that blue color. I am in zone 4, so this will be a fun addition. Thanks

ButterYum said...

Absolutely lovely. I can see you have quite a green thumb!

MissyM said...

It is a pretty blue!! I've never tried it.

darnold23 said...

This is just gorgeous. What a beautiful blue. I hope you will join me at diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com for Crock Pot Wednesday. Mr. Linky will be up on Tuesday for your link. Thanks for posting.

jeanne said...

Hello tootsie, your garden is so beautiful. I can see you are very knowledgeable too. Thank you for all the info about your beautiful blue flowers today.

Hugs...Jeanne

momstheword said...

I have always thought that was a pretty plant but never had one. I am giving up on my garden, seriously, not joking this time.

Just going to give my plans away and put in grass there. I'll plant a few in containers but I am done.

My allergies just don't make weeding and being out there worth it to me anymore!

Feeling you on the so many ideas and not enough time to do them!

Sharlotte said...

Your garden is fabulous! I absolutely love all the colors. Thanks for the lesson on your Monkshood. It really must be hardy! Thanks for sharing.

Florida Sue said...

I love Aconitum, but it is probably one of the most deadly of plants just like the Datura. My favourite plants are some of the the most deadly? hmm. In Ontario also grew Baptisia and really loved it. Have you had any luck with it?

XOSue

imjacobsmom said...

Hi Tootsie! I actually have Monkshood growing in my garden. It is surviving despite the area where it is has turned into quite the shade-y spot. I have it planted next to the turtleheads. For some reason they seem to like each other. Go figure. ~ Robyn

Betty said...

Sorry I hadn't known about your Dad but glad to hear he is doing better.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I have Monkshood in my garden and this was it's best year although nowhere near as big as yours. I wish I would've known to cut it back, I'll have to remember next year.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Ok Toots if Len won't eat his mushrooms I'll start feeding him flowers ha ha!! Just kidding I think...Loved seeing this beautiful blue...How have you been dear daughter of mine...Hope you had a great weekend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

The Japanese Redneck said...

Very pretty. Love the blue.
Ramona

Justine said...

Gorgeous!
I have a small marine heliotrope I bought weeks ago and all the bottom leaves have turned brown and are dead. Is it too much water maybe?

Justine :o )