Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Evil Beauty.

 Monk's Hood is extremely poisonous - even very small amounts can have severe effects.   It contains aconitine, a neurotoxin that can cause heart failure, and there are reports of people feeling unwell after just smelling the flowers.
 Monk's-hood is a native plant............often found in the wild along ditches or streams, also on the fringes of woodland.       
Planted in the centre of the island beds, to keep well away from little people, it is a stunning addition to the autumn garden.
It is a firm favourite of mine..........blue is a precious colour in the garden.......also it is pollinated exclusively by bumblebees.   Perfect..........well almost :)

13 comments:

  1. What a shame that something so beautiful can be so poisonous. I was going to ask if it's scented but this is one plant you won't be sniffing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh no Jo, definitely will not be sniffing. I have grown it for many many years, and have never been brave or foolish enough to smell it.............

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm intrigued by this plant. I remember first reading about it in the Brother Cadfael mysteries. It is beautiful despite its poison.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful......it is a fascinating plant.

      I remember the series somewhere in my distant memory...........

      Delete
  4. Hi Cheryl,

    I'm surprised yours are still blooming to be honest... Mine bloomed back in August - wish they were still going now though.

    I've never felt any side effects, but perhaps I've just never connected the two. I am always careful when walking past them or having to move them - they tend to lean a bit and get in my way - hrm; I'll try to make sure I recognise if I feel unwell/headache etc after being close.

    Although saying that; a lot of plants are poisonous and can potentially make us feel ill from allergies to things like Foxgloves and Daffodils.

    That reminds me! I saw a story about how some girl guides planted up a wildflower garden. They sowed seeds with a variety of wildflowers in it, including Corncockle. Someone recognised it and complained to the council and all corncockles were removed on the off-chance some child will eat it.

    Does this mean that council is also going to remove all Daffodils? In case a child picks one and ends up ill from the sap?? Sometimes, really I think things are a bit silly.

    Maybe they'll even start killing Bees in case someone is stung by one...

    I understand that as a parent you don't want your child ill. So teach them not to eat flowers? I don't remember ever just eating a plant in the garden, maybe I did. But I do remember my mum telling me not to catch Bees; which I promptly ignored, caught one and got stung :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz,

      The Monks-hood have just started blooming. Last year it was August !!!

      Many years ago now a dog of mine ate part of a daffodil and was very ill. 24 hours she was back to her normal self.

      Poppi and Riley both know the dangers of plants. You are exactly right, education is the key. Dominic although only two is also learning. When he tries to touch something we just say 'danger danger' and he walks away. They soon learn.

      I agree with you entirely, health and safety issues have gone crazy.
      When I think about what I did as a child it is a wonder I survived :)

      Delete
  5. I have never seen this growing around here. It is a beautiful plant. A plant to be respected for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I treat it with great respect Lisa ...........and yes it is beautiful

      Delete
  6. Such a beautiful blue - a little delphinium-like in looks. I am a great fan of the Cadfael series on tv he often mentions the use of monkshood in his infirmary I was under the misconception that it was used a little like digitalis - obviously not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morning Elaine,

      Yes it is very like the delphinium.

      I read many years ago now (so do not quote me) that if the root is cooked it is less toxic and can be used medicinally. I believe it can be used externally.
      Obviously the dosage is critical due to the toxicity of the plant.

      Hope you have managed to get all the chores out of the way after your lovely holiday.

      Delete
  7. I've seen Monk's Hood in only a few gardens, but I've always admired it and thought about planting it. But I try to stay away from anything too poisonous for fear the curious dogs might get too close, which is why I also don't plant Castor Bean or Datura, both of which I think are so pretty. I do love this shade of blue, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand Rose. When we have pets we have to take care.
      The reason I have planted in the centre of the bed is for that very reason....to keep the children and Nella away from that area.

      Delete
  8. What a beautiful plant - and I do so love the colour! I think it's a good idea to plant in the centre of your garden; seen and admired, but not eaten or sniffed!
    I used to grow Datura in pots (we have to overwinter it here), but they all died. Very pretty and fragrant in the evenings.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.