|Latin Name: Aconitum napellus|
Monk's Hood is a tall, hairless, perennial with tuberous fleshy roots and erect stout stems (0.5-1.5 meters tall). Leaves have 5-7 segments which are deeply divided. Flowers, which are 10mm - 18mm in length are helmet shaped and are deep reddish-violet or blue. Monkshood grows in damp habitats, woodland edges, meadows, and along streams. The plant flowers June - September. While local in some parts of the Country it is more likely to be a garden escapee.
After first eating Monkshood the posion can have a stimulatory effect on the respiration and circulation systems but this is followed by a depression with slow laboured breathing and low pulse. Symptoms also can include digestive upset and nervous excitement. The cardiovascular system is affected by alkaloid toxins contained within the plant. Eating large amounts usually produce death from asphyxia and circulatory collapse.