Monkshood - Aconite

Common Names: Monkshood, Aconite, Wolfsbane, Helmet Flower, Friars Cap

Botanical names: Aconitum (ak-ah-NEE-tum)

Availability: April through October

Vase life: 7 to 10 days

Storage temperatures: 36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, chill sensitive. Store closer to 40 degrees

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Tall spiked cluster of hooded florets.

Color: Deep blue to light blue are the most common colors. Also white and cream colors.

Botanical facts: Monkshood parts and juices are highly toxic if eaten. The common name “Monkshood” was given because the top of the blossom resembles the monastic head covering. The other common name, “Wolfsbane”, was given because the shepherds in ancient Greece laced bait and arrows with Aconite to kill wolves.

Design notes: Monkshood is a wonderful tall line flower. Works well in vertical arrangements.

Purchasing hints: Purchase stems with flowers open to within an inch or two of the tip. Look for stems that are sturdy and straight.

Conditioning: Remove all leaves that will be under the water line. Cut stem ends with as sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of water and commercial floral preservative / floral food for two hours before storage or usage.

Additional notes: Design with extreme caution. All parts of Monkshood are highly toxic. Because of the toxicity, you should wash your hands after using. You should warn customers of the toxicity. Monkshood represents caution, misanthropy and death, so be careful if you are giving this flower to someone.