ABOUT LISA BERRY
Brown's or Wild Peony
Great Red Paintbrush
Little Elephant's Head
Red Mountain Heather
Sierra Shooting Star
Scientific Name: Aconitum Columbianum
Common Name: Monkshood, Wolfsbane
Color: Usually a deep blue or purple, but ranges
from the occasional white or pale pink, to light
blue or purple also.
Description: This peculiar, hood-shaped flower consists of five petal-like sepals. The uppermost sepal curves upward and forward, forming the top of a hood. The bottom two sepals form the collar of the hood. Inside the flower is a cluster of reproductive parts and two hiding whitish petals. The flowers alternate at the top of a firm stem up to 6 feet high. The leaves are large and maple-like.
Habitat: Moist semi-shaded creek beds and banks.
Toxicity: Monkshood is extremely poisonous to livestock and humans. The name "Wolfsbane" comes from the medieval practice of poisoning darts to kill wolves.
Comments: Because the flower opening of monkshood evolved into the size of a bumblebee, the flower"s natural pollinator, monkshood will not thrive in areas without bumblebee populations.