look, but don’t touch

Monkshood or Aconite or even wolf’s bane (Aconitum napellus) is one of the most poisonous plants in the garden. A beautiful but deadly hooded flower that can poison by touch alone. That said, bees and butterflies love aconitums, slugs hate them!

The top sepal forms the trademark “monk’s hood” and just look at that beautiful violet-blue colour and the delicacy of the veins in those petals, it even has fine hairs on the edges!

(This was seen during my walk in the lanes last week, but I think I may have one in my garden, the foliage looks the same, but it has never flowered.)

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #46 | Delicate


  1. It’s so pretty. What a shame it is toxic. I love that deep purple colour.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is still a popular plant, they look stunning in a group. Gardening can be more dangerous than you think!

  2. Chloris says:

    They are exquisite, I have them in my garden although I didn’t plant them and I find them a bit scary. But that story that was in the news of a gardener dying after brushing past one seems unlikely to me, surely you need to ingest it?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Touching can cause headaches, but not fatality, perhaps that gardener didn’t wash his hands so the toxins git into his mouth? Who knows! I must confess to touching mine (but mine might be something else). I am bad at wearing gloves for gardening!

  3. restlessjo says:

    I’ll keep my distance 🙂 🙂

  4. Tish Farrell says:

    It is a stunner though, isn’t it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I like anything that slugs hate!

      1. Tish Farrell says:

        I was also thinking that!

  5. Sue says:

    Stunning and deadly….

  6. Su Leslie says:

    Very beautiful.

  7. beetleypete says:

    I hope I remember what this looks like, if I ever come across one. Maybe I will forego touching any flowers, just in case! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha 😆, yes probably the best policy, not one to pick and take home to the wife. Unless in one of your stories!

      1. beetleypete says:

        That’s an idea… 🙂

  8. Joanne Sisco says:

    Too bad that something so pretty can be so toxic.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You just have to not touch it!

  9. Leya says:

    A delicate beauty indeed – I don’t have them in my garden though…Lovely shot.

  10. Pit says:

    “Monkshood or Aconite or even wolf’s bane (Aconitum napellus) is one of the most poisonous plants in the garden.” – that reminds me of one of my favourite mystery novel writers, Ellis Peters [real name Edith Pargeter] and her series of “Cadfael” novels. “Monkshood” is the title of one of them. There is a movie, too, with Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael.

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